Varieties of pROTECTIONISM:
SOCIAL CONNECTIONS AND RESISTANCE
TO TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN THE ARAB WORLd 

Despite decades of international pressure, the Arab world remains one of the most protected regions in the global economy. How do the region's ruling coalitions resist domestic and international efforts to liberalize their markets? Varieties of Protectionism argues that social connections between economic and regime elites structure diverging strategies of resistance to trade liberalization in the region, and beyond. Strong social connections render regime promises of neopatrimonial protectionism after trade policy reform more credible to elite opponents of trade liberalization. This facilitates the removal of protectionist policies while sustaining protectionist rents. Economic elites with weak social connections to regime elites are less likely to trust regime promises of neopatrimonial protectionism after trade policy reform. These elites resist trade liberalization by mobilizing for the continuation of protectionist policies.  

 

Varieties of Protectionism clarifies diverging patterns of trade policy reform within and across Arab states. It also explains the resilience of elite state-business alliances across interventionist and neoliberal market systems. Most importantly, by exposing the conditions that enable a substitution of protectionist policies with neopatrimonial protectionism, this book reminds that governance reform most accompany economic reform if the costs of liberalizing policies are to extend to the halls of power.