Deepening socio-economic challenges in the Middle East and North Africa. What are the risks and the possible ways out

School of Government, Luiss Guido Carli, 30/05/2023

30 May 2023, 16.00-17.30 CET

School of Government, Luiss Guido Carli, Viale Pola 12

The Covid-19 pandemic and the consequences of the Ukraine war have hit non-oil and gas exporting countries in MENA hard. Spikes in commodity prices, high inflation, currency devaluations, growing fiscal problems and contracting investment are having a strong impact on the economies of Tunisia and Egypt, while countries long affected by conflict and crises such as Syria and Lebanon are facing economic implosion.

This situation aggravates long-term social problems such as unemployment, inequalities, rising poverty and youth and marginal communities disenfranchisement.

  • Are the national and international policies to counter the current economic instability adequate?
  • What are the risks of the current socio-economic situation spiralling out of control and igniting new cycles of violence and migration?
  • What would be alternative approaches to increasing social security for the people, providing better prospects for sustainable economic growth and addressing long-standing social problems in these countries?


Luigi Narbone, Director of the Mediterranean Platform, Luiss School of Government


Farah Al Shami, Senior Fellow, Leading ARI’s Social Protection Program, Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)

Tarek Megerisi, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Steven Heydemann, Professor in Middle East Studies, Smith College

Robert Springborg, Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)