The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the lessons from Eastern Central Europe for Middle East/North African Transition

Stuart Shields


This paper seeks to understand the role played by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in helping to consolidate the gains from the Arab Spring. There is little academic analysis of the EBRD in Eastern Central Europe’s (ECE) transition, let alone the Middle East/North Africa (MENA). Yet here is an institution in the vanguard of political economic change. The paper explores the mechanisms and strategies utilised by the EBRD to aid reforms in ECE, and then explores whether similar formulations can be uncovered in MENA by comparing the intellectual assistance to post-communist reformers in ECE with the current advice to MENA, in particular Egypt.

Key Words: EBRD, ECE, MENA, Gramsci, Neoliberalisation

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