Political Economy of Wasta

The term ‘wasta’ stems from the Arabic root for ‘middle’ or ‘medium’ and describes the phenomenon of using ‘connections’ to find a job, government services or other favors to circumvent bureaucracy or bypass the system as a whole. The effects of ‘wasta’ may be both positive or negative, and is not a phenomenon that is particular to the Arab or Muslim world, but also to many other cultures and regions of the world, with similar concepts popularly known as ubuntu, guanxi, harambee, naoberschop, or “old boy network” used in African, Chinese and European societies.

The edited volume brings together academics and professional experts to examine a range of multi-faceted social, economic and political issues raised by the use and abuse of social networking, covering various topics.

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