, Volume 67, Number 4

Jane Kinninmont
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Jane Kinninmont is a Senior Research Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.

In trying to understand the complex causes of this year’s wave of unrest across the Arab world, people sometimes ask whether the real drivers were economic, rather than political. After all, food prices have been rising sharply: in January this year, when protests kicked off in Egypt, the World Bank’s composite food price index was 29 percent higher than it was in January 2010. 

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