Varieties of pROTECTIONISM:
CONNECTIONS, GEOPOLITICS AND RESISTANCE
TO TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN THE ARAB WORLd
Despite decades of international pressure, economic reform in the Arab world remains uneven, selective and incomplete. What explains the persistence of protectionist policies in some Arab markets, and not others? Varieties of Protectionism argues that geopolitics and social connections between state and capital determine the varieties of protectionism that safeguard the region's protected industries. Strong social connections and high geopolitical value to foreign patrons make regime promises of neopatrimonial protectionism after dismantling protectionist policies more trustworthy to opponents of trade liberalization. This facilitates a substitution of protectionist policies with neopatrimonial protectionism, liberalizing trade policies but not markets for some import-competing industries and not others. This insight clarifies diverging patterns of trade policy reform within and across Arab states. More importantly, by exposing the conditions that enable a substitution of protectionist policies with neopatrimonial protectionism, Varieties of Protectionism stresses that governance reform must accompany economic reform if the gains of liberalizing policies are to extend beyond the halls of power.