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Beaches, Ruins, Resorts

Beaches, Ruins, Resorts: The Politics of Tourism in the Arab World

Waleed Hazbun
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Beaches, Ruins, Resorts
    Book Description:

    Despite being viewed as a dangerous region to visit, leisure travel across the Middle East has thrived. Waleed Hazbun investigates this industry to show how tourism is shaping the economic and political development of the region in dramatic ways. Hazbun tells the surprising story of how the draw of glittering beaches, luxury hotels, and sightseeing at ancient ruins impacts the Arab world—promoting both globalization and authoritarianism._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6656-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction: Tourism, Territory, and the Politics of Globalization
    (pp. ix-xlii)

    For readers who associate the Arab world with images of political violence, authoritarian rule, and hostility to foreigners, a book about the politics of tourism might be expected to focus on how airplane hijackings, attacks against tourists, and restrictions on foreign visitors have hindered the rise of a leisure tourism industry. This book tells a different story. It investigates how, despite these many challenges, international tourism has become one of the most prevalent aspects of globalization transforming the Arab world. In doing so, this book challenges common portrayals of Arab states and societies as disconnected from globalization and culturally inclined...

  5. 1. Fordism on the Beach: Tunisia and the International Division of Leisure
    (pp. 1-36)

    The Mediterranean Sea has long defined a space connecting the societies of Europe and North Africa.¹ The most recent phase of this relationship has been characterized by European dominance over an economic sphere into which the Arab states have sought to become integrated. Gregory White refers to these states as being “on the outside of Europe looking in.”² As Alan Richards and John Waterbury note, it was the small North African state of Tunisia that “pioneered the ‘opening up’(infi tah)approach” toward increased economic integration in the late 1960s.³ While these scholars and others have recounted Tunisia’s experience with...

  6. 2. Images of Openness, Spaces of Control: Tourism in Tunisia’s New Era
    (pp. 37-76)

    By the late 1970s, Tunisia had successfully established an external image as a stable, relatively liberal Arab state. Western media coverage typically focused on President Habib Bourguiba’s staunch support of women’s rights, investment in social development, friendly relations with Western powers, and openness to both foreign investment and tourists. The role of tourism in building the country’s image was exemplified by a profile published inNational Geographicmagazine in 1980 titled “Tunisia: Sea, Sand, Success.”¹ These images, however, failed to represent what would become day-to-day experiences for many Tunisians by the mid-1980s: social dislocation, economic hardship, labor unrest, and growing...

  7. 3. The Geopolitics of Tourism and the Making of the New Middle East
    (pp. 77-132)

    While a tourism map of the Levant indicates a region replete with religious and cultural heritage sites, picturesque landscapes, and magnificent archaeological ruins, its tourism industries have long been hampered by regional conflict, political instability, and inward-oriented authoritarian states. As elsewhere, tourism development in the region is inextricably linked with its geopolitics. Since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, not only have tourist flows between Israel and the Arab world been impeded by the ongoing conflict, but even regional flows between Arab states often suffer from geopolitical rivalries. The 1967 war dealt a devastating blow to Jordan as Israel took over what...

  8. 4. The Territorial Politics of Tourism in Jordan
    (pp. 133-188)

    The New Middle East offered a vision for transforming the political economy of tourism in Jordan. With the conclusion of the peace treaty with Israel in 1994 and initiation of bilateral economic cooperation, a regional tourism boom was expected to jump-start the sector. Tourism development plans outlined how the increasing flows of tourists and capital would promote economic reterritorialization, where joining global networks would generate economic benefits for Jordanians. In this way, Jordan would finally overcome its geopolitical confinement and rentier economy by becoming integrated into the global economy, allowing it to “catch up” with the globalizing trends transforming other...

  9. 5. The View from Dubai: Post–9/11 Geographies of Travel
    (pp. 189-236)

    In the late 1990s, while the tourism industries in Jordan and Israel were adjusting to the decline of the New Middle East, across other parts of the region, the sector was developing rapidly. Egypt recovered from the wave of Islamist attacks against visiting tourists and was building a new line of integrated tourism complexes along the Red Sea. As in Tunisia and Jordan, neoliberal economic policies expanded private-sector tourism development while fostering the rise of a business class with close ties to the regime.¹ In Syria, where state control over the economy remained heavy-handed, limited liberalization sought to encourage local...

  10. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 237-238)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 239-276)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 277-304)
  13. Index
    (pp. 305-338)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 339-339)