Re-scaling Egypt’s Political Economy: Neoliberalism and the Transformation of the Regional Space


School of Oriental and African Studies

One of the striking features of the Egyptian uprising has been the prominent role of the Gulf Arab States in the political and economic discussions of the post-Mubarak period. This paper argues that an understanding of this role requires a rethinking of the ways that state and class developed in Egypt during the neoliberal era. Neoliberalism acted to facilitate the internationalisation of Gulf-based capital throughout the Middle East and North Africa region, closely tying together domestic and regional capital accumulation. Through an examination of these shifts in the regional political economy over the last two decades, the paper traces the rise of the regional scale, positing it as a critical vantage point from which to understand both the prominence of the Gulf and the possible trajectories of the region’s new political configurations.