Economics & Policy articles

Moving parts

Moving parts

Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani offers two words when asked about his vision for city spending: “investment projects.” During a brief interview in late July, Itani explained a variety of the city council’s plans, from making Beirut more pedestrian-friendly to balancing private and public interests along the city’s contentious coast. E   What is the city’s

The rumors were true

In late July, the latest round of American legislation targeting Hezbollah arrived, despite Lebanese government and banking officials downplaying rumors of it just a few months ago, as Executive reported. The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act would supplement a 2015 law curbing the group’s access to banking systems, and is the latest legislative effort

The big Lebanese thirst

Not many consumer product segments have steady year-on-year growth regardless of the economic environment. Nor are there many products that are the same price as they were a decade ago. But as the marketing saying goes, water is life, and there is plenty of competition for consumers of bottled water. “You can consider bottled water

Fit for Growth

Breaking out of stasis is neither easy nor instantaneous. Examples of temporarily suspended existence and reemergence in popular fiction range from space travel to medical miracles. Nobody has ever tried it of course, but in theory it makes sense to suspend a body in some sort of stasis for the duration of an interplanetary flight

Explaining Middle East Insecurity

The Middle East faces an increasingly complex and fragile security situation. The region (defined by authors Swain and Jägerskog to include all Arab countries in Asia, plus Egypt and Occupied Palestine — though I personally might also add Iran and Anatolia) suffers from strained water supplies and limited arable land, along with increasing populations, stagnant

C’est la vie

The decision in early June by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Accord, the latest global effort to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, sent shockwaves of uncertainty around the world. The agreement, which entered into force in November 2016, has the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to two

Knowledge Production in the Arab World

Knowledge Production in the Arab World assesses regional research, posing questions crucial to understand the relevance of this research and its beneficiaries. The book studies the Arab drive to join the increasingly globalized world of research, and in doing so promote “knowledge” economies. Yet – as the provocative subtitle The Impossible Promise suggests – authors

Glittering in the shadows

Lebanon is historically notorious for its lack of metals and similar natural resources. This makes it even more astonishing that almost one quarter of Lebanese exports are constituted by a precious metal: gold. In 2016, non-monetary gold accounted for 23 percent of total exports, which were worth a little over $700 million according to customs

Into the blue

Potential is the most important word to keep in mind when thinking about a future Lebanese oil and gas industry. In November (provided there’s a functioning government at the time), the country is scheduled to begin offshore exploration, which could provide a revenue stream flowing decades into the future and kickstart a local industry services

Full of gas

Lebanon will finally be rescued from the electricity cuts it has long suffered from, or so says the government as it trumpets its latest plan for the sector. Eight years ago, Electricité du Liban (EDL) supplied, on average, only 18 hours of electricity per day, and an ambitious plan from 2010 did not accomplish much

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