This chapter discusses the economic development models and economic history of the MENA region and four focus countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia), the changing pattern of relations of MENA countries with international actors, and, in that context, the evolution of their civil service systems. On the first two points, sequential patterns of strong engagement and integration and isolation and self-reliance can be observed, with the last two decades showing a strong trend of re-engagement of MENA countries in the global economy and with international actors. Civil service systems, however, have not yet followed suit, and a disconnect between reintegration in the global economy and relatively unchanged civil service systems appears to emerge. The in-depth analysis on the influence of globalization on civil servants in the remaining part of the book will shed more light on these dynamics, as well as on the extent to which a more professional and engaged civil servant type is starting to emerge.
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