In the search for a new social contract that establishes wider consensus-based political legitimacy, North African elites must be willing to simultaneously undertake openings and reforms in the political arena and adopt far-reaching economic reforms. That is the main lesson to be drawn in examining the post-2011 economic and political developments in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, according to “Aftermath of the Arab Spring in North Africa,” a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
At the outset of the political uprisings that began in North Africa in 2010, the four countries of faced similar economic and political challenges, note report authors Mohsin Khan and Karim Mezran:
Over the past almost six years, the countries have adopted different approaches to address these problems, however the overall economic picture today is grim amid varied political environments. …. The experiences of these four North African countries over the past five years demonstrates that the postponement of economic reforms has the ability to threaten or even undo progress made on the political front.