Zaia Lawandow

Year: Senior

Major(s): Economics

Mentor: Schraeder, Peter

Department: Political Science

Project Title: The Economic Implications of the Arab Spring in Tunisia

Project Abstract: The Arab Spring, which has had profound political and economic effects throughout the Pan-Arab Middle East and North Africa, began in Tunisia as a means of protest against deteriorating economic welfare within that country. This project seeks to understand and explain the economic factors that acted as a catalyst for such widespread, and impactful social unrest, as well as the economic welfare of the country heading forward. To that end, this project will explore three main facets of the Arab Spring in Tunisia; (a) the economic climate of Tunisia prior-to and on the eve of the uprisings; (b) the economic effects and implications in the short and long term; and (c) the current and future role of the private sector, the regional Middle East/North Africa (MENA) community, and the international community (including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) in Tunisia's economic development. This project will be made possible by field research conducted in Tunisia as part of a three-week course titled "The Arab World, Islam, and US Foreign Policy". Interactions with Tunisian locals, academic scholars, and US Government officials, as well as in-depth primary source macroeconomic research will all help to shape the understanding of the economic implications of the Arab Spring in Tunisia.