Call for Papers: Social contracts in the MENA region

After its extensive work on social contracts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the obligations these state-society-contracts entail in different countries and sectors, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is now interested in advancing research on the actors and processes involved in changing these contracts. With the notable exception of Tunisia, and efforts of updating existing social contracts in Morocco and Jordan, social contracts in the region remain largely dysfunctional like in Iraq, or brought authoritarian regimes back to the front, like in Egypt.

Both, scholarly and development policy-guiding publications are now available that use the social contract ‘lens’ for framing state-society-relations, and their transformation. Challenges arise not only from assessing the transformations from one contract to a new one, but also from understanding the normative implications of new contracts in the making.

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) will therefore host a workshop on 23 – 25 November 2020 to discuss methodological avenues –both qualitative and quantitative– and empirical insights to:

– identify drivers of contemporary transformations of social contracts, both structural and actor-centered, in the MENA-region
– assess/measure/model the drivers’ respective contribution to change – both ‘objectively’ and in the perception of the social contract stakeholders.

The empirical research of the expected contributions will focus on comparisons between countries, between MENA and another world region, between policy fields, or on the trajectory of specific social contracts over time. Domestic drivers – or, by extension, ‘spoilers’ – of change and their (dis-)incentives will mostly stand at the center of analysis. However, the significance of enabling/disabling regional and global structures and/or actors will most likely also have to be taken into account.

We invite researchers in any country and from any relevant discipline (sociology, economics, political science, law studies etc.) to submit abstracts, please check the details here.