Economic Policies for Social Justice

The political economy of social spending revolves around the strategic allocation of state resources to various social programs such as healthcare, education, and welfare, aiming to address inequalities and improve the populace's standard of living. Decisions on social spending are influenced by a country's economic conditions, political ideologies, and societal values. Wealthier nations often have more resources to devote to social services, reflecting a commitment to social welfare, whereas countries facing economic challenges may struggle to sustain extensive social programs. Political dynamics, including the interests of governing parties and pressure from civil society, play a crucial role in shaping the extent and focus of social spending, highlighting the balance between economic growth and social equity.

The situation in the MENA region, with a focus on Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia, reveals a complex interplay between economic policies, political stability, and social needs. In these countries, social and healthcare policies underwent significant reform over the past decade, driven by both internal pressures and external influences, including international financial institutions. The reforms aimed to address the inadequacies of social insurance and healthcare systems, which were marked by limited coverage, financial instability, and unequal benefits distribution. Notably, the influence of global economic structures and the specific historical and political context of each country shaped the direction and outcomes of these reforms. Despite efforts to expand coverage and improve system sustainability, challenges such as funding limitations, systemic inefficiencies, and the impact of global economic trends continue to affect the effectiveness of social spending policies in the region.

In this context, the Economic Policies for Social Justice in the MENA region team, in collaboration with the esteemed researcher from Noria MENA Program, Colin Power have diligently worked over the past year to happily release this new publication: “The Political Economy of Social and Health (In)Security”.

To read this publication, please click here.