The above roundtable marks the official launch of the first volume of A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa. This book is the first of its kind to provide a critical lens to a survey of political economy in the region. This launch brings together all of the involved co-editors and authors to discuss its content. More information can be found below.


Joel BeininKristen AlffMax AjlBassam HaddadZeinab Abul-MagdTimothy MitchellShana MarshallAdam HaniehAaron Jakes, Ahmad ShokrNida AlahmadMuriam Haleh DavisZiad M. Abu-Rish, and Samia Al-Botmeh


Joel Beinin
 is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, at Stanford University.

Bassam Haddad is Associate Professor at the Schar School for Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Sherene Seikaly is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Available Now at Stanford University Press:

A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa

Edited by Joel Beinin, Bassam Haddad, Sherene Seikaly

Series: Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures

A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa represents the first volume produced by the Political Economy Project (PEP), which was established by the Arab Studies Institute in 2015. You may find other publications, events, and resources on the Project’s website. More resources, reviews, and interviews related to this volume will appear regularly on the Political Economy Project websiteJadaliyya, and Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI).

This book offers a critical engagement with the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa. Challenging conventional wisdom on the origins and contemporary dynamics of capitalism in the region, these cutting-edge essays demonstrate how critical political economy can illuminate both historical and contemporary dynamics of the region and contribute to wider political economy debates from the vantage point of the Middle East.

Leading scholars, representing several disciplines, contribute both thematic and country-specific analyses. Their writings critically examine major issues in political economy—notably, the mutual constitution of states, markets, and classes; the co-constitution of class, race, gender, and other forms of identity; varying modes of capital accumulation and the legal, political, and cultural forms of their regulation; relations among local, national, and global forms of capital, class, and culture; technopolitics; the role of war in the constitution of states and classes; and practices and cultures of domination and resistance.

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“A thorough and timely collection of essays by some of the top practitioners of Middle East political economy, this book lays bare the human insecurity that is at the root of much of the discontent in the region.”

—James Gelvin, University of California, Los Angeles

“This new canonical text will open pathways for research and make the job of educators infinitely easier by reasserting the enduring value of political economy. For too long scholarship has been enchanted by the shibboleths of orientalism and modernization theory—now there is a better way. A tour de force synthesis.”

—Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt, California State University, Stanislaus

Table of Contents

Introduction: “Introduction,” Joel Beinin

  1. “Landed Property, Capital Accumulation, and Polymorphous Capitalism: Egypt,”Kristen Alff
  2. “State, Market, and Class: Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia,”Max Ajl, Bassam Haddad, and Zeinab Abul-Magd
  3. “Ten Propositions on Oil,”Timothy Mitchell
  4. “Regional Militaries and the Global Military-Industrial Complex,”Shana Marshall
  5. “Rethinking Class and State in the Gulf Cooperation Council,”Adam Hanieh
  6. “Capitalism in Egypt, Not Egyptian Capitalism,”Aaron Jakes and Ahmad Shokr
  7. “State, Oil, and War in the Formation of Iraq,” Nida Alahmad
  8. “Colonial Capitalism and Imperial Myth in French North Africa,”Muriam Haleh Davis
  9. “Lebanon Beyond Exceptionalism,”Ziad M. Abu-Rish
  10. “The US-Israeli Alliance,”Joel Beinin
  11. “Repercussions of Colonialism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,”Samia Al-Botmeh