Capitalizing on Crisis: The EBRD, Jordanian State and Joint Infrastructure Fixes

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In 2011, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) extended its mandate beyond Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to the Middle East. Since then, it has supported financial institutions, private sector involvement, energy production and, most recently, infrastructure and public service reforms. While the EBRD presents itself as supporting the region's economies in light of the refugee ‘crisis’, I question the power relations driving its recent public investments there. I situate them within the context of global capitalism’s crises since the Great Recession and MDBs’ development agendas in the Middle East, specifically increased aid since 2011. I argue that, jointly advanced by the EBRD and Jordanian state, the EBRD’s public loans in Jordan offer fixes for capitalism’s crises to the benefit of donors, the state as well as private investors. More specifically, the EBRD’s projects and emphasis on the refugee “crisis” entrench and justify market-based neoliberal reforms in Jordan’s infrastructure and public services, opening them up to investment and expanding accumulation at the expense of public interest. The Jordanian state is an active partner and beneficiary of these projects, not only establishing the necessary regulatory frameworks for them, but also aligning them with its own development agendas and interests.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Early online date23 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2023


  • EBRD
  • neoliberalization
  • aid
  • refugee
  • crisis
  • capitalism
  • infrastructure
  • development finance
  • accumulation
  • Middle East


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