Bessma Momani
Dr. Momani is a senior fellow at The Centre for International Governance Innovation, and associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo and the Ballsillie School of International Affairs. She resides in Waterloo, Canada.

During the Egyptian crisis in early 2011, Bessma commented widely for national and international media, drawing on her extensive research on the country’s political and financial structures from 2002 to 2006, including her book, IMF-Egyptian Debt Negotiations (American University of Cairo Press, 2006), and her articles, “A Middle East Free Trade Area: Economic Interdependence and Peace Considered” (The World Economy, 2007) and “Promoting Economic Liberalization in Egypt” (Middle East Review of International Affairs, 2003).

Two of Bessma’s edited books, Shifting GeoEconomic Power of the Gulf (co-edited with Matteo Legrenzi, Ashgate, March 2011) and Targeted Transnationals: Arab-Canadian Immigration and Integration (co-edited with Jenna Hennebry, 2013), illustrate the continued diversity of her research interests. She is the author of a number of other edited books on Canada and the Middle East and on Reconstructing Iraq. In addition to her media work, she is the author of over two dozen scholarly articles in economic and political science journals.

Dr. Momani is an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo and the Ballsillie School of International Affairs and resides in Waterloo, Canada.

Entries by Bessma Momani

Without Better Public Services, the Middle East and North Africa Will Continue to Suffer

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 12:17 PM

This piece is co-authored by Jonathan Diab, Bessma Momani and Anna Klimbovskaia

With recurring outbreak of conflict or violence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, focusing on implementing essential services may seem like a secondary concern. Conversely, the low-quality services may be the root of the problem....

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Defeating Global Poverty Requires a Shift from Billions to a Trillion Dollars

(12) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 5:09 PM

This piece is co-authored by Anna Klimbovskaia, Bessma Momani and Jonathan Diab

The World Bank's ambitious goal to end poverty by 2030 requires large transformations in the global political economy so everyone has a chance for a better life. But high ambitions to conquer poverty, requires big cheques. According to...

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It's Time to End Our Dependence on Oil

(7) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 1:02 PM

Historic volatility and unpredictability of oil prices have made dependence on investing in this commodity unreliable. Both importing and exporting nations are at risk of serious economic instability as a result of the continuously shifting market conditions, which put either upwards or downwards price pressures on fossil fuels. What can...

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Why G20 Photo-Ops Are Still Important

(3) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 9:41 PM

What is the G20 meeting and is it useful? Since its creation, the key impetus of the meetings has been to get the most important leaders of the G20 in a room to decide on ways to promote economic growth and help solve the economic, political, and social issues of...

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What's Next in Tayyip Erdogan's Complicated Political Drama?

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 12:31 PM

This first appeared at

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will claim he won the recent municipal elections that took place on April 4, but his name was not on the ballot. The big question is, will Erdogan put his name forward to serve as president in the...

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Seeing Syria's Horrors: A Message for Finance Ministers

(1) Comments | Posted April 12, 2014 | 12:30 PM

This article first appeared at

At the IMF-World Bank spring meetings, there are often many fascinating debates and discussions that draw you in. This week I was drawn into a most unusual panel about the art of resilience into the horrors of war in Syria. In the...

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Why the Turkish Election is a No-Win Situation For Many Turks

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 6:29 PM

This first appeared in The Globe and Mail.

Choose from among an autocratic regime, a cult and a xenophobic party. These are cartoonish caricatures of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP), Gulenist movement and Republican People's Party, but there are hints of truth in these descriptions, which left...

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Egyptians on a Military High Will Crash

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 11:25 AM

This article first appeared on

The Egyptian people are in a state of hysteria -- mixed with nationalistic fervour -- that makes it difficult to have a rational conversation about the state of affairs with many in the country. Indeed, the June 30, 2013 overthrow of a...

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Arming Iraq to Fight Al Qaeda Has a Downside

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 4:27 PM

The rise of Al Qaeda in Fallujah and Ramadi in Iraq's Anbar province has stirred well-deserved concern and fears of renewed violence and despair. The Obama administration's proposal to fix the insecurity of Anbar by providing the central Baghdad government, under Nouri al-Maliki, with more weapons is not only futile...

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Trends and Challenges in Philanthropy and Development

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 1:43 PM

I had the opportunity to attend the Emirates Foundation Annual Philanthropy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where panellists discussed a number of trends and challenges in the field of philanthropy and development. One issue that was not discussed, but stands out to me, is how the number of actors in the...

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Why Should Developing Countries Be Preached To By the G7?

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 8:03 AM

This post, authored with David Kempthorne, first appeared on the CIGI blog, Wealth and International Politics.

On the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings, the Toronto Centre, which is mandated with training regulators and supervisors from over 170 countries, hosted an enlightening conversation on whether regulatory and...

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One Phone Call Is Hopeful for U.S.-Iranian Relations

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 12:20 PM

This op-ed first appeared in the Toronto Star.

For nearly 34 years, the United States and Iran have declared each other sworn enemies. Last week's phone call between the two countries' presidents -- the first in almost 30 years -- represents a remarkable opportunity to end this hostility....

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Should We Have Democracy on Demand?

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 9:16 AM

Should we have democracy on demand?

In Egypt, protesters who have been in the streets for weeks trying to reverse the outcome of June 30 are being dispersed by bulldozers and bullets, and the future of democracy is no more secure than when they first set up camp.


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Surrendering Chemical Weapons Didn't Save Gaddafi - And it Won't Save Assad

(16) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 4:50 PM

This article is co-authored with Claire Schachter, managing editor of The piece first appeared in the Toronto Star.

We may never know whether U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry intended to set in motion the creation of a diplomatic alternative to a military strike on Syria, but...

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How Obama Should Sell His Message of Intervention

(7) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 2:13 PM

This post first appeared on on September 9, 2013.

The world has little patience for the Assad regime at this point. With hundreds of thousands of dead, two million refugees, half of which are children, and four million internally displaced throughout the Syrian territory, there is no...

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How Do We Stop Syria's Sickness from Worsening?

(25) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 5:30 PM

The world has watched Syria being destroyed from within for more than two years. The death toll has mounted steadily, month after month, and refugees continue to pour into neighbouring countries. The country's infrastructure is being obliterated. With 100,000 dead and likely more to come, millions internally and externally displaced,...

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Is Egypt's True Enemy Paranoia?

(50) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 5:24 PM

During the short-lived rule of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood complained bitterly about the "deep state" (the bureaucracy, military, security services) while liberal-secularists accused the Brotherhood of consolidating power throughout Egypt in order to push through its conservative social policies. In rebutting these claims, each side accused...

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One Marriage in Egypt That Will Definitely End in Divorce

(3) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 5:24 PM

Twice in the past two years, Egypt's young democrats endorsed a marriage of convenience between the military and a new 'saviour' government -- mistakes that will only harm Egyptians in the long run.

When the April 6 movement of youthful liberal, secularist-leaning activists promoted their cause...

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How Arab Youth Make the Middle East an Up and Coming Market

(9) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 12:13 PM

With so many terrible realities dominating the headlines in the Middle East, it is easy to be pessimistic about the region. In my new study in Global Policy, I make the case that the Middle East is actually a region to watch as an up-and-coming economic market that will be...

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Egypt's Military Leadership Is Playing with Fire

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 5:27 PM

Egypt's military leadership is playing with fire. During a televised cadet graduation ceremony on Wednesday, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for Egyptians to return to the streets to show that they back the military and its mandate to confront "violence and potential terrorism."

Implicit in Sisi's call is the military's...

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