Critical Review of Economic-Politic Issues in Middle East Region

Reviewer:
Siti Wulandari, FISIP-Hubungan Internasional
Univ. Prof. Dr. Moestopo (Beragama)

There are three factors which influence economic-politic issue in Middle East; they are 1) availability of water and low rainfall, 2) abundant oil in some areas of Middle East, and 3) the rapid increasing of population. All of those factors related to one another in economic and politic issues.
Since 1940s until 1950s, known that Middle East have abundant oil. But this abundant oil is only available in some areas. This case caused economic disparity in Middle East and also caused transnational migration from poor countries to rich countries.
The positive effect from this transnational migration is increasing of foreign exchange in poor countries from their citizen’s income who work in rich countries. Another resulted positive effect, this transnational migration also caused negative effects. They are 1) the influence of ideology which brought by people such as socialism, Islam Syi’I, and 2) agriculture begin to be abandoned, it causes supply of basic foodstuffs reduced in the Middle East region, so they should be import it.
The economic budget of Middle East countries is prioritizing for military because two factors. First, because of Arab-Israel conflict which still exist until now. Second, there are some seeds of conflict among Middle East countries.
At least there are two important things which must be done to run the sustainability of economic in Middle East, 1) a real peace resolution to solve the political conflict in Middle East comprehensively and bounded everyone, 2) economy policy making in foreign invest, open door policy, efficiency of bureaucracy, and maybe engage Israel in economic agenda in Middle East.
In this case, reviewer wants to compare this module with Riza Sihbudi journal. In his journal, he said that politic situation in Middle East region characterized by the classic problems of political conflicts, in which the political conflict is about the border problems among the countries.[1]
Sihbudi also said that politic is not only the most important case in Middle East region.  Economic reformation and politic democratization also the case focus in there. There is a democratization effort through economic development, social justice and civil society development. These factors used to support the democratization process in Middle East region.
From both sources about situation and condition in Middle East we know that since many years ago this region faces so many politic conflicts not only about border problems among the countries, but also about lack of water resources, oil resources in some countries, and moreover the rapid of population growth in this area. In which, these cases have its linkages in politic and economic issues.
According the opinion of reviewer, the interesting thing which happened in Middle East is the democratization process through economic development, social justice and civil society development. It showed that economic influences politic, and both of them have correspondence each other.
There some facts which show that economy has its own role in democratization process which sought in Middle East. For examples, one of the G8 summit’s agenda which held in France, 26 May 2011, is discussed about people’s resistance movement in Middle East. In this case, G8 members support the Middle East people’s aspiration of economic and democracy.
Another that, Barack Obama, the Preident of USA, also said that the best way to support democratization process in Middle East are economic reformation and post war aid. USA will alleviate Egypt debt up to one billion US $, The World Bank and IMF also will provide additional assistance about 2-3 billion US$. These actions run as the effort to seek democratization in Middle East. From this review so far about the condition of economic and politic in Middle East region, we can conclude that economic and politic issues cannot be separately.







[1] Sihbudi, Reza. Masalah Ekonomi dan Demokratisasi Politik: Kasus Timur Tengah. Makalah yang disampaikan pada Pendidikan Sekolah Dinas Luar Negeri (SEKDILU) Jurusan Pejabat Diplomatik Konsuler Angkatan XXI. Jakarta, 23 Agustus 1995.

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