Aix-Marseille Université



Social, Demographic and Democratic Transitions in MENA

TMENA concentrates on economic and social issues in Middle-East and North African countries.
The project investigate quantitative economic modeling approaches of the major changes in Mediterranean societies that have taken place in the last half century. The investigation is organized around three crucial economic and social transitions: demographic, social and political.

Face to the multiple and accelerated transformations of MENA societies, social sciences can only provide partial and limited explanatory framework yet. Little understanding of the determinants and interactions of these transitions is currently available.
Our aim is to fill this knowledge gap by availing of state-of-the-art theoretical and empirical scientific advances, designed and implemented by top-level researchers within the framework of the project.
In the current volatile political context of the Arab spring, better understanding of these joint phenomena are urgently needed so as to provide to decision-makers efficient and timely guidelines and recommendations for actions and policies.

First, integrated theoretical models of these changes will be designed that will clarify the dynamic connections between these phenomena and economic growth determinants. Moreover, novel social and economic theoretical indicators will be proposed to better fit the description of these dynamic societal changes. Decisive intellectual advances are expected that will much clarify the interactions of the three transitions.

Second, new databases will be constructed that describe the questions of interest and their determinants in these countries. These databases will be made publicly available at the end of the project, and therefore constitute one of its knowledge outcomes.

Third, econometric specifications of the theoretical models will be estimated from these new data. At this occasion, new statistical methods may be developed to fit the encountered estimation difficulties. Precise estimation results will allow not only the validation of the proposed theories, but also provide quantitative assessment of the main factor effects.

Finally, policy analyses and recommendations will be derived from the conducted analyses, and disseminated to national and international authorities. The purpose of the project is to contribute significantly to understanding the economic and social impact of alternative policies in the current MENA context. Such an ambitious project is only possible by availing of the cooperation of researchers from several other research centers, from both North and South of the Mediterranean Sea. This yield permanent scientific and academic collaborations. The lead institution is the Aix-Marseille University, with the coordination by the GREQAM.