Conflict, refugees, authoritarianism, and economic stagnation engulf the Middle East. Can a new, more peaceful and more prosperous Arab order emerge after the collapse of the old?

With contributions by the Carnegie Middle East Program and dozens of experts from the region, Arab Horizons attempts to contribute to the charting of a new course for the Middle East. The project features policy reports addressing five critical areas: political economy, education, governance, refugees, and conflict mediation.

The 2011 Arab uprisings and ensuing conflicts demonstrate that piecemeal reforms are not enough and that military interventions seldom produce positive outcomes. Arab Horizons is based on the premise that citizens and states must forge new social contracts to address massive challenges. The five reports collectively argue for a new approach built upon the following building blocks:

  • New Investments. In the twenty-first century, success is measured not by resource wealth but by human capital. Citizens are not subjects to be controlled but vital stakeholders in the transformation of their societies.
  • New Accountability. Prosperous societies require new norms of accountability, both within states and between them. Achieving it requires confronting patronage networks which dominate many Arab societies.
  • New Institutions. To be effective, Arab governing institutions need to build capacity, efficiency, and transparency. New arrangements are necessary to allow local governments greater latitude in managing their own affairs.
  • New Incentives. New incentive structures are needed that reward merit, innovation, and initiative over personal connections and nepotism, and that promote new norms of state behavior.
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