Ali Kadri’s Arab Development Denied (Anthem Press, London)

Books

Ali Kadri’s Arab Development Denied (Anthem Press, London)

22 Jan 2018

Ali Kadri’s Arab Development Denied (Anthem Press, London) takes a detailed look at issues of development and political economy in the Arab world. Ali Kadri examines how over the last three decades the Arab world has undergone a process of developmental descent, or de-development. He defines de-development as the purposeful deconstruction of developing entities. The Arab world has lost its wars and its society restructured to absorb the terms of defeat masquerading as development policies under neoliberalism. Foremost in this process of de-development are the policies of de-industrialisation that have laid to waste the production of knowledge, created a fully compradorial ruling class that relies on commerce and international finance for its reproduction, as opposed to nationally based production, and halted the primary engine of job creation. The Arab mode of accumulation has come to be based on commerce in a manner similar to that of the pre-capitalist age along with its cultural decay. Kadri attributes the Arab world’s developmental failure not only to imperialist hegemony over oil, but also to the rising role of financialisation, which goes hand in hand with the wars of encroachment that were already stripping the Arab world of its resources. War for war’s sake has become a tributary to the world economy, argues Kadri, and like oil, there is neither a shortage of war nor a shortage of the conditions to make new war in the Arab world