Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Middle Eastern Studies


Alexander Bauer


Beginning in the mid 1990's, the World Bank, in small but nonetheless meaningful amounts, fund projects in the Middle East and North Africa with the express purpose of promoting tourism and urban redevelopment through cultural heritage preservation. To date, the World Bank has sponsored projects in Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan. Focusing on the three projects in Jordan, this paper attempts to problematize the World Bank's heritage preservation activities in the Middle East and North Africa. In order to do this, it examines the thought and work of Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen. It proposes that cultural capabilities may be understood as the ability for individuals within a community to contribute to discourses on history, memory, heritage and tradition. Utilizing this framework, I argue that the World Bank's projects in the MENA, for a variety of reasons do not achieve this standard.