Everywhere you look, the Arab world is changing — and fast.
A decade or two ago, most countries in the region had an unusual system in which citizens enjoyed relative stability, buoyed by exports of natural resources or foreign assistance. Despite limits to personal development and the chances to increase household income, this system worked fine as long as the public sector continued to dole out jobs alongside generous subsidies to maintain the myths of a low cost of living and prosperity.
However, regardless of whether a country is resource-rich or largely dependent on foreign assistance, when the global economy is beset by falling commodity prices, debt crises in the EU and collapsing markets in the United States and Asia, these old social contracts are doomed.
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