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Illusion Of Progress in the Arab World: A Critique of Western Misconstructions [Paperback]

By Galal Amin (Author)
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Item description for Illusion Of Progress in the Arab World: A Critique of Western Misconstructions by Galal Amin...

With the razor pen and keen intellect that have won him numerous loyal readers for his previous books, Egyptian economist Galal Amin here takes on the terms of the debate between the Arab world and the West. Amin deconstructs in his own inimitable style the language and underlying assumptions with which the West habitually assails Arab countries and politics. He applies his sharp wit and powers of observation to notions of freedom, democracy, human rights, terrorism (of course), and more, all of which fare the worse for falling under his gaze. In Amin's view, the western concepts of progress and backwardness as they apply to the Arab world are wrong-headed, and continuing to deploy them as theoretical tools leads into all sorts of blind alleys. True to form, Amin's analysis is laced with scholarly research, much humanity, and sly, subtle humor. His critique of the much-discussed UNDP Arab Human Development Report represents a welcome and reasoned Arab reply to this document that has been too frequently used as a cudgel to bash the Arab world, and by itself is worth the price of the book. Accompanied by the gently humorous illustrations of Samir Abd el-Ghani, The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World is a deftly-argued critique of the way Arab societies are judged by the west.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: AUC Press
Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 4.8" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 19, 2006
Publisher   AUC Press
ISBN  9774249712  
ISBN13  9789774249716  

Availability  0 units.

More About Galal Amin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! GALAL AMIN is a professor of economics at the American University in Cairo. He is the author of Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC Press, 2000), Whatever Else Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC Press, 2004) and The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World (AUC Press, 2006).

Galal Amin has an academic affiliation as follows - The American University in Cairo American University in Cairo The Amer.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Freedom & Security > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Freedom & Security
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > International > Relations

Reviews - What do customers think about Illusion Of Progress in the Arab World: A Critique of Western Misconstructions?

Good idea but doesn't go far enough  Jul 4, 2007
In The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World, author Galal Amin argues that "progress" itself is a created notion imposed by the winners of the current global system, the West, on the rest. He disagrees with the notion that humanity is undergoing a process of "continuous improvement" and instead posits that the idea that progression to a specific and some how superior endpoint (which often looks like the current state of being in the Western world) is the result of powerful nations attempting to control the Arab world by bringing them into conformity with Western cultural norms. Amin starts with a critical examination of the United Nations Human Development Report with special attention given to a report on Arab development that was released in 2003. He then elaborates on six elements of "progress" through which the West has judged the world, namely: freedom, democracy, capitalism, human rights, the information revolution, and ethics. Amin also looks at the idea of terrorism as a lens through which the Arab world has been judged in recent years and concludes with a forward-looking prediction of whether modernization, reform, or neither will be accomplished in the near future in the Arab world. Bold and often humorous in his observations, Amin offers readers an interesting and provocative insight into an Arab view of the West. However, he often comes off as more angry than analytical: more interested in deconstructing the current normative state of affairs than in forwarding his own ideas or proposals. The book would have been more effective if Amin were to have taken intellectual initiative and posited a counter argument again Western development and cultural norms. There are many in the West who have become frustrated by the "us against them" rhetoric and policies that dominate our governments and would welcome articulate counter proposals. Unfortunately, Amin does not offer them in The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World.

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