The social contract for reconstruction in MENA

Trautner, Bernhard
Mitarbeiter sonstige

Hintergrundpapier für den Weltbank-Bericht 'Building for peace in MENA - reconstruction for security, sustainable growth and equity' (i.E. 2019)

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has tasked the German Development Institute's advisory and research project on 'Stabilization and Development in the Middle East and North Africa' to provide input for the World Bank's flagship report 'Building for Peace in MENA - Reconstruction for Security, Sustainable Growth and Equity'. The flagship is due for the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group in 2019. The paper addresses specific questions regarding the Social Contract for Reconstruction in the Middle East and North Africa, i.a. on the ‘concept, emergence of a new social contract and the political economy framework’, ‘main features of an inclusive, peaceful, bottom up social contract and main pillars’ and ‘policy recommendations on actions during and after conflict.’ The paper is based on original conceptual and empirical research mainly on Iraq and Libya, and expert discussions within the context World Bank’s project of preparing the flagship report. Tentative policy recommendations were developed jointly with GIZ and KfW. They are to be further tested in bilateral cooperation, and to be validated in consultation and outreach activities for implementing the report’s conclusions in the MENA region.
The background paper applies the Social Contract as an analytical lens on highly fragile countries, which, at the time of writing, were still affected by violent conflict: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. The Social Contract covers the “entirety of explicit or implicit agreements between all relevant societal groups and the sovereign (i.e. the government or any other actor in power) defining their rights and obligations towards each other”. On this basis, the paper suggests a paradigmatic shift of approach for both physical and non-material (political, social) reconstruction, from technocratic ‘top-down’ to people-centered ‘bottom-up’: In putting the question ‘reconstruction for whom / to whose benefit?’ at the core. The suggested approach, therefore, allows for a prioritization of relevant issues in the broader political economy framework and allows specifically for including geo-eonomics and the role of external stake holders in relation to their respective domestic ‘clients’.

About the author

Trautner, Bernhard

Political Scientist

Trautner

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