Karen E. Young

Senior Fellow, Director, Program on Economics and Energy, Middle East Institute

Karen E. Young is a senior fellow and the founding director of the Program on Economics and Energy at the Middle East Institute. She was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, focusing on the political economy of the Middle East and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Young has taught courses on the international relations and economy of the Middle East at the George Washington University and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She regularly teaches at the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute. Before joining AEI, she served as a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, a research and visiting fellow at the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an assistant professor of political science at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She was twice awarded a Fulbright fellowship, first to Ecuador and later to Bulgaria. In addition to her publications in a variety of academic and policy journals, Young’s analysis has appeared in the popular press, including Bloomberg Opinion, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She is frequently quoted in the media and has been interviewed by the BBC, CBS News, NPR, Al Jazeera, CBC, France 24, and CNBC Arabia, among other networks. Young has contributed numerous chapters to edited volumes and is the author of The Political Economy of Energy, Finance and Security in the United Arab Emirates: Between the Majilis and the Market (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

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The Geoeconomics of Reconstruction in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen has exacted a disastrous toll on the country. This paper considers the outside forces in the conflict, seeking to elucidate who they are, what the nature is of their involvement, and what their converging and conflicting interests mean for reconstruction.

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Spending to Grow in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is seeing some positive news in the return on investment in its outwardly placed capital in new technology.

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Privatization in Saudi Arabia: Vision 2030 Ready to Sell

There have been four important changes to the kingdom's economic policies that may pave the way for increased foreign investment, though not likely immediate job growth.

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A Home of One’s Own: Subsidized Housing as a Key Lever of Gulf Domestic Policy

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed announced a new social support program for citizens in the emirate to double the number of the government's annual subsidized housing loans.

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Unwinding the JCPOA Opens Doors for China and Amplifies Risk in the Gulf

For traditional U.S. partners and allies in the Gulf and beyond, the unwinding of U.S. participation in the JCPOA will create some multidimensional consequences.

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Tying the Region in Knots: How the JCPOA is Tethered to Gulf Economic and Security Challenges

U.S. President Donald J. Trump faces a deadline for the recertification of sanctions relief on May 12, when a waiver of a key sanctions law expires, and would need to be renewed lest the sanctions provided for in that law snap back into force.

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Trade Wars and Bond-Offs: Side Effects of Tariffs and Tactical Borrowing Hit the Gulf

There are simultaneous efforts by Qatar and Saudi Arabia to attract investors for new bond issues this week. The “bond-off,” or race to sale, is yet a new example of the use of economic means to achieve political ends.

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U.S.-Saudi Economic Ties: Why Saudi Arabia Matters

Though the Oil Link may be broken, the United States and Saudi Arabia remain linked by economic and investment ties, energy markets and a shared interest in global economic stability.

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Saudi Economic Reform Update: Saudization and Expat Exodus

Saudization, or the reservation of certain jobs and sectors for Saudi nationals, is part of the government’s effort to transform its private sector.

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Payment Delayed: The Economic Risk of Gulf Contracting Practices

If you are in the construction business and a Gulf government is your client, be sure to be paid in advance.