During the 2011 uprisings, Arab protesters channeled decades of discontent with failed economic policy. However, the demise of leaders will not be enough to answer this discontent nor ensure productive development. Scholarship on the political determinants of economic development finds that the common recipe of expanding the private sector and increasing trade openness may be valuable but is not sufficient on its own for successful development. The Arab world’s economic path to 2011 included implementation in these areas, yet reform in underlying socio-economic structures and interests lagged. Addressing these conditions constitutes one of the most serious challenges facing Arab economies and politics.