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Social Justice Under COVID-19: A Comparative Study of Health and Socioeconomic Policy Responses in the Arab Mashreq and the Arab Gulf

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submitted on 2023-05-11, 12:31 and posted on 2023-05-14, 05:05 authored by Ahmed Aref

This chapter provides a critical overview on the patterns of health and socioeconomic policy responses in the Arab Mashreq and the GCC countries, from a social justice perspective. The social stratification and inheriting inequality in the Arab Mashreq affected the policy response, by favoring the economic support to big businesses, and depriving the poor from accessing quality health care, which shaped a class-based recovery. However, this disparity in the GCC policy responses in the health sector did not exist, since high-quality health care was provided to all. Moreover, the economic support was comprehensive and did not exclude small and medium-sized enterprises. However, the labor policy response undermined the social justice in the GCC pandemic response. Austerity measures were significantly directed toward the expatriate workers by reducing their numbers or cutting salaries and benefits. The chapter provides contextual analysis to draw a full picture of the structural factors that represent pressing determinants shaping different typologies of policy response in both regions.

Other Information

Published in: Social Change and Transformation in the Gulf Region
See article on publisher's website:



  • English


Springer Singapore

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar National Library

Geographic coverage

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States