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Speaker(s): Dr Steffen Hertog, Professor Giacomo Luciani, Dr Marc Valeri, Dr Khalid AlMezaini
Chair: Jon Marks

Recorded on 21 March 2013 at New Theatre, East Building

Although most Arab countries remain authoritarian, many have undergone a restructuring of state-society relations. Lower and middle class interest groups have lost ground, while big business has benefited in terms of its integration into policy-making and the opening-up of economic sectors that used to be state-dominated. Arab businesses have also started taking on aspects of public service provision in health, media and education that used to be the domain of the state, while also becoming increasingly active in philanthropy.

This launch for Business Politics in the Middle East (Hurst, 2013), a volume by LSE's Dr Steffen Hertog and edited by Professor Giacomo Luciani and Dr Marc Valeri, will cover the political role of regional capitalists during and after the Arab uprisings, prospects for the emergence of a more independent bourgeoisie, economic reform and new social contracts.

Dr Steffen Hertog is Senior Lecture in Comparative Politics in LSE’s Department of Government. Hertog has been researching the comparative political economy of the Gulf and Middle East for more than a decade, working with a number of local and international institutions.

Professor Giacomo Luciani is Scientific Director of the Master in International Energy of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences-Po and a Princeton University Global Scholar attached to the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Near Eastern Studies. He is also a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and co-director of the Executive Master in Oil and Gas Leadership.

Dr Marc Valeri is Lecturer in Political Economy of the Middle East at the University of Exeter. After a Master's Degree in Comparative Politics, with speciality on Arab and Muslim worlds, he received a PhD in 2005 from Sciences Po Paris. His work dealt with nation-building and political legitimacy in the Sultanate of Oman since 1970.

Dr Khalid Almezaini is an Assistant Professor at Qatar University and was previously a research fellow in the Kuwait Programme at LSE. He has taught International Relations at Cambridge, Edinburgh and Exeter universities. His research focuses on International Relations of the Middle East and the Gulf in particular.

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