The effects of neoliberal economic reforms in the Southern Mediterranean are now widely regarded as a main underlying cause of the Arab uprisings. An often neglected dimension is that of the reforms’ implications for local governance. The contributions to this edited volume examine how state power is being re-articulated but also challenged at sub-national levels in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey. They explore the effects of neoliberal economic and local governance reforms such as decentralization, public-private partnerships, and outsourcing in the area of public service delivery, poverty alleviation, and labor market reforms on local patronage networks, public accountability, and state-society relations. The findings show that such reforms are often subordinated to established patterns of political contestation among actors who seize on the opportunities that reforms offer to advance their political agendas, thereby illustrating the local specificity of ‘actually existing neoliberalisms’.
The book thus fills an important knowledge gap by combining public policy and management theories with those on patron-client networks and public accountability at the local level, and situating them within the critical literature on neoliberalism.
This book was published as a special issue of Mediterranean Politics.
1. Introduction: Researching the effects of neoliberal reforms on local governance in the Southern Mediterranean 2. Neoliberal Reform and Socio-Structural Reconfiguration in Cairo’s Popular Quarters: The Rise of the Lesser Notables in Misr Al Qadima 3. The Neoliberal Transformation of Local Government in Turkey and the Contracting Out of Municipal Services: Implications for Public Accountability 4. Municipalities Go to Market: Economic Reform and Political Contestation in Jordan 5. Water Privatization Dynamics in Morocco: A Critical Assessment of the Casablancan Case 6. The Private Sector and Local Elites: The Experience of Public–Private Partnership in the Water Sector in Tripoli, Lebanon 7 .‘Inclusive’ Neoliberalism, Local Governance Reforms and the Redeployment of State Power: The Case of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) in Morocco 8. Conflicting Articulations of Citizenship under a Neoliberal State Project: The Contested Implementation of the Israeli Workfare Programme