Varieties of protectionism:
Ethnic politics and resistance to Trade Liberalization in the arab world
Despite international pressure, the Arab world remains one of the most protected regions in the global economy. How do Arab regimes resist international efforts to liberalize their markets? Drawing upon a range of cases, methods and data, this book argues that ethnic relations between elites shape diverging strategies of resistance to trade liberalization. Where public and private sector elites are coethnics, their ruling coalition resists trade liberalization by replacing protectionist policies with favoritist benefits that disadvantage international competition. Where public and private sector elites are non-coethnics, however, elites lack coethnic trust and sanctioning mechanisms that cross the public and private sector to ensure that favoritist benefits will replace protectionist policies. Coalitions with non-coethnic public and private sector elites are less able to coopt elite opponents of trade liberalization with favoritist benefits. These coalitions resist trade liberalization by maintaining protectionist policies.