5 year anniversary of Arab Spring Fethi Belaid/Getty Images

Ultimatum Ekonomi untuk Negara-Negara Arab

WASHINGTON, DC – Jika negara-negara Timur Tengah tidak mulai membuat kemajuan nyata di bidang reformasi politik dan ekonomi, maka gejolak regional lebih jauh tidak dapat dihindari. Dengan sistem rente yang dipertahankan negara-negara Timur Tengah selama beberapa dekade tengah mengalami banyak tantangan, para pembuat keputusan harus memulai proses pembuatan kontrak sosial yang baru walaupun hal ini sulit untuk dilakukan.    

Kontrak ini mulai terkikis di negara-negara Arab pada saat pergantian abad, ketika pemerintah dengan anggaran meningkat dan birokrasi yang kembung tidak lagi mampu memberikan pasokan layanan dasar yang mecukupi, seperti layanan kesehatan dan pendidikan, menciptakan lapangan kerja yang cukup, atau mempertahankan subsidi makanan dan bahan bakar. Meskipun bantuan negara berkurang, kebanyakan pemimpin negara terus mendesak warga negaranya untuk memenuhi peran mereka dengan tidak berpartisipasi secara berarti dalam kehidupan publik. 

Pemerintah negara-negara Arab mampu mempertahankan perekonomian yang tidak efisien selama beberapa decade karena mereka didukung oleh pendapatan minyak. Dalam beberapa dekade terakhir, kebanyakan negara-negara Arab mendapatkan keuntungan dari cadangan minyak dan gas bumi berlimpah di Timur Tengah. Negara-negara penghasil hidrokarbon menggunakan keuntungan tersebut untuk membeli kesetiaan warga negara mereka dan menciptakan negara kesejahteraan; dan negara yang tidak memproduksi minyak menikmati keuntungan dari bantuan, arus masuk modal, dan remiten yang dikirim warga negara mereka yang bekerja di negara yang kaya sumber daya.

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