Dissertation and Book Project

Title: Redistributive Authoritarianism: Land Reform and Regime Survival in the Middle East and North Africa

My dissertation contributes a new understanding of redistribution under authoritarianism, and challenges prevailing theories about the positive relationship between redistribution and regime survival. I develop and test a theoretical framework for understanding regimes’ incentives to redistribute land, highlighting the trade-offs associated with different land reform strategies. The dissertation presents qualitative and quantitative evidence to show that stable and unstable MENA regimes consistently diverge over patterns of land redistribution. The first half of the dissertation documents the colonial roots of redistributive conflict, and uses large-N quantitative analysis to show how colonial legacies in MENA constrained regimes’ post-independence land redistribution strategies. Based on an original cross-country data set, my empirical findings suggest that radical, elite-targeted land redistribution occurs when the regime inherits an unpopular absentee landed elite from colonial rule on one hand, and a rising urban professional elite demanding reform on the other. In the second half of the dissertation, I process trace these mechanisms using detailed case studies of Jordan and Iraq, where I draw on subnational survey and observational data, as well as evidence from over 80 elite and stakeholder interviews, political biographies, government documents, and other primary-source Arabic material gathered during eighteen months of fieldwork in Jordan, the UK and the United States.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Hartnett, A. (2018) “The Effect of Refugee Integration on Migrant Labor in Jordan.” Review of Middle East Studies, 52(2): 1–20.

Working Papers

“Do Transfers Buy Votes? Evidence from Poland” with Alexander Gard-Murray. (under review)

“Colonial Legacies of Redistributive Conflict: Land Reform in the Middle East and North Africa.”

“Landed Elites and the Arrested Development of Iraqi State Capacity.”

“In the Shadows? Informal Enterprise and the State in Jordan” with Kristin Fabbe (Harvard Business School) and Steve Monroe (Princeton University)

“The Colonial Origins of State Repression in MENA’’ with Elizabeth Nugent (Yale) and Nicholas Lotito (Yale).

Encyclopedia Entries

Hartnett, A. (2011) Entries for Energy Policy in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Qatar in Encyclopedia of Energy. Croton-on-Hudson, New York: Golson Media.

Book Reviews

Hartnett, A. (2014) Review of Globalization & Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism and Social Justice, 2nd ed. by Valentine Moghadam. St. Antony’s International Review, 10(1): 135-37.

Policy Papers, Opinion Pieces, and Essays

“Colonial Legacies of Uneven State Development in MENA,” POMEPS Collection on Social Policy in the Middle East, October 19, 2018.

“Can Jordan’s New Prime Minister Reform the Government?,” The Monkey Cage Blog, The Washington Post, June 13, 2018.

Wilson, G and Hartnett, A. Guidance on Fragile States for the Stabilisation Unit. United Kingdom Department for International Development, June 2016.

Hartnett, A. Protest, Unrest and State-Society Relations. International Peace Institute, June 2014.