The magic potion of austerity and poverty alleviation

Narratives of political capture and inequality in the Middle East and North Africa

Publication date: 22 November 2021
Author: Diana Kallas

Dominant narratives promoting economic growth at the expense of state institutions and basic social services have long underpinned a neoliberal model of spiralling debt and austerity in the MENA region. This exacerbates political capture and inequality and takes shape in an environment of media concentration and shrinking civic space.

It is important for change movements to understand dominant narratives in order to challenge and shift them. With the right tools, civil society organizations, activists, influencers and alternative media can start changing the myths and beliefs which frame the socio-economic debate and predetermine which policy options are accepted as possible and legitimate, and which are not.