WEALTH AND THE PERSISTENCE OF AUTHORITARIANISM IN THE GULF STATES

Kassomeh, Nawar and Qanas, Jalal (2021) WEALTH AND THE PERSISTENCE OF AUTHORITARIANISM IN THE GULF STATES. Ideology and Politics Journal, 19 (3). pp. 92-108.

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Abstract

During the Arab Spring the idea of the Middle East as an authoritarian exception appeared to be no longer valid. Yet the Gulf states seem to be safe from political turmoil. This paper examines the persistence of authoritarianism in the Gulf states. It has been suggested that various factors explain the resiliency of authoritarianism in the Gulf monarchies, the most prominent the rentier-state-system hypothesis. This paper examines whether the cultural and Islamic values of the Gulf states have led to the entrenchment of authoritarianism; it also seeks to understand whether high living standards and economic growth in the Gulf states have helped these regimes to maintain their authoritarian power and to avoid strong opposition. The paper argues that in the near future these states seem likely to survive and maintain popular consensus, unless they face substantial economic crisis or an external circumstance such as war or political pressure. However, the longer-term threat to the security of the Gulf states is their dependency on natural resources which are declining while their populations are growing rapidly. Hence, modifying the rentier system’s social contract is essential to maintain stability in the long term.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ideology and Politics Journal
Subjects:
ID Code:
170183
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 May 2022 09:35
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
21 May 2022 00:53