This essay examines the structural economic reform measures undertaken in the Arab world in the past two decades. Developmental projects in the region have attained growth in gross domestic product, higher levels of human capital, and stable governments. These, however, have been accompanied by corruption, structural economic problems, social exclusion, and negligence of good governance and the rule of law. This essay suggests that the juxtaposition of economic reform and liberalization with corruption, authoritarianism, and absence of good governance were a recipe for the social tumult that became the Arab Spring. Social unrest will remain the rule rather than the exception in the Arab region for the foreseeable future, especially in countries that have undergone regime change, such as Egypt and Tunisia, due to the lack of expected economic and political reforms.

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