Building Stability through Economic Growth in the Maghreb

Governments across the Maghreb are struggling to address a wide range of socioeconomic and political grievances that sparked popular uprisings throughout 2011. The problems are rooted in political systems that have been marred by corruption, exclusion, and marginalization of large swaths of the population, including young people. Despite significant change in the last year, the region is still at the beginning of a long phase of transformation.

To better understand the political and economic factors shaping transitions in the Maghreb (defined here as Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia) and opportunities for spurring economic growth, the CSIS Middle East Program convened a half-day conference in Washington, D.C., on June 13. Because states dominate most economies in the region, the conference examined both government strategies to address a range of economic challenges and the role that trade and investment could play in promoting growth. The conference brought together high-level U.S. government officials, diplomats, and leading experts in academia and business. The following report summarizes the views and ideas discussed at the conference.