Accounting, accountability and governance in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region

Submission deadline date: 1 September 2024


The aim of the special issue is to further our understanding of accounting, accountability and governance practices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, given apparent commonalities (e.g. religion, language, accounting practices and culture) and differences (e.g. history, colonial influence, political and legal systems, level of economic development, GDP, and transparency) in the institutional background. A particular example of socio-cultural commonality lies in the Islamic religion, which is practised by almost 95% of the MENA population. In contrast, while some of the MENA constituents are considerably resource-rich and boast of very high-income per capita figures, others exhibit far less in terms of major indicators of development (e.g., human development index) and have weak or virtually non-existent capital markets, feeble accounting regulation and local accounting capacity.

The state, rather than the private sector, remains the motor of development and agriculture and micro-businesses dominate local economies. Gulf ‘city’ states have also spearheaded models of development aimed at creating global centres of financial, trading and urban activity, drawing upon the contribution of international professionals, including accountants and financiers. In North Africa, while grappling with economic and political turmoil, some countries are continuing to enact accounting reforms, e.g. public sector financial management and accounting systems.

Within these multi-faceted and evolving contexts, the special issue aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of governance in enabling or constraining the exercise of accountability and how accounting information is produced and relied upon (if at all) in corporate, public, and daily life settings. Arguably, ownership structures and arrangements in business ventures can lead to peculiar uses of accounting while the operations of large state-owned entities, such as those involved in strategic industries (oil & gas), often raise questions about organisational accountability, transparency, and sustainability.

Finally, as in the case of other emerging economies, sustainability reporting and other forms of social and environmental accounting have become more prominent. Admittedly, research on accounting, accountability, and governance in the MENA context, has been emerging and been published in key accounting journals, with a preponderance of articles on Egypt and to some extent on Turkey. The issue aims to attract a wide coverage of accounting (e.g. financial and non-financial corporate disclosure, CSR, and sustainability) and governance practices, and the extent to which they contribute to the exercise of accountability. It also welcomes studies about contemporary developments in the accounting and financial profession.

Considering the focus and the audience of the Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, we therefore call for a wide range of studies about accounting, accountability, and governance practices in terms of contributing to ‘mainstream’ debates but also to address pressing concerns around gender diversity, sustainability, Islamic accounting, auditing, and accounting in unlisted businesses in the MENA context.    

Note: Typically, the MENA classification will include Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, and Yemen. In some cases, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, and Western Sahara are included. 

List of topic areas

  • Corporate financial disclosure, country-level, effects, and firm-level characteristics.
  • The development of accounting and auditing regulations in the MENA region. 
  • The development of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting.
  • Accounting professionals' experiences and attitudes in the accounting profession in the MENA region
  • The characteristics of MENA boards of directors and their influence (if any) on corporate reporting and disclosure.
  • The implications of economic, social and governance indicators in MENA firms.
  • The role of governance structures (e.g., audit committee, nomination committee) on corporate disclosure and reporting.
  • Accounting, accountability, and governance in non-listed MENA settings (e.g., family businesses, Islamic financial or other institutions)
  • Public sector accounting and auditing in MENA states.
  • The extent of sustainability accounting, assurance, and reporting practices in the MENA context.
  • Management accounting, control and digitalisation in MENA organisations. 
  • The employment of indigenous and local approaches for the development of accounting thought, practices, education, and research in MENA.

Submission information and key dates

Special issue (in-person) development workshop (18-20 February 2024) – Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait.

The Guest Editors invite potential authors to submit and present draft papers to an in-person Accounting and Accountability in Emerging Economies (AEE) Workshop Event to be held in February 2024 hosted by the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) in Kuwait.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for authors to interact with Guest Editors as well as network with researchers in the region. Following the call for the special issue in 2023, the timeline will be as follows:

1 July 2023:  submission of extended abstracts or draft papers to the guest editors for an initial review.

1 August 2023: communication of acceptance for the workshop and feedback for development.

18-20 February 2024: in-person workshop at GUST, Kuwait, followed by final feedback and recommendations.

1 June 2024: submission window opens.

1 September 2024: submission window closes.

Workshop attendance is not a condition for consideration to the special issue. Guest Editors will consider any other requests for feedback by email prior to the paper submission deadline.

Full paper submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title Accounting, accountability and governance in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed.