The Wages of Oil

Author: Michael Herb
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801454684
Release Date: 2014-11-13
Genre: Political Science

The contrast between Kuwait and the UAE today illustrates the vastly different possible futures facing the smaller states of the Gulf. Dubai's rulers dream of creating a truly global business center, a megalopolis of many millions attracting immigrants in great waves from near and far. Kuwait, meanwhile, has the most spirited and influential parliament in any of the oil-rich Gulf monarchies. In The Wages of Oil, Michael Herb provides a robust framework for thinking about the future of the Gulf monarchies. The Gulf has seen enormous changes in recent years, and more are to come. Herb explains the nature of the changes we are likely to see in the future. He starts by asking why Kuwait is far ahead of all other Gulf monarchies in terms of political liberalization, but behind all of them in its efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. He compares Kuwait with the United Arab Emirates, which lacks Kuwait's parliament but has moved ambitiously to diversify. This data-rich book reflects the importance of both politics and economic development issues for decision-makers in the Gulf. Herb develops a political economy of the Gulf that ties together a variety of issues usually treated separately: Kuwait's National Assembly, Dubai's real estate boom, the paucity of citizen labor in the private sector, class divisions among citizens, the caste divide between citizens and noncitizens, and the politics of land.

The Wages of Oil

Author: Michael Herb
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801453366
Release Date: 2014
Genre: History

Michael Herb provides a robust framework for thinking about the future of the Gulf monarchies by contrasting Kuwait and the UAE.

Oil and Politics in the Gulf

Author: Jill Crystal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521466350
Release Date: 1995-01-27
Genre: History

Why in recent years have the social and economic upheavals in Kuwait and Qatar been accompanied by a remarkable political continuity? In a region of revolution and coups, these particular monarchies have somehow survived. In her analysis of political change in the Gulf, Jill Crystal investigates this apparent anomaly by examining the impact of oil on the formation and destruction of political coalitions and state institutions. She also adds to our understanding of state formation by highlighting the ways in which states and rulers structure the relationship between those with money and those with power. This updated edition includes a discussion of the Gulf War and its aftermath.

Oil Monarchies

Author: F. Gregory Gause
Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations
ISBN: 0876091516
Release Date: 1994
Genre: History

This timely book demystifies the politics of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman, and focuses on the new pressures that have emerged since the Gulf War. Gause illuminates the foreign policy tightrope these states walk in the Middle East: self-defense is problematic, regional pressures translate directly into the domestic arena, and relations with the United States cause as well as solve many problems. Gause examines the interplay of Islamic fundamentalism, tribalism, and, most importantly, oil wealth that has determined the power structure of the Gulf monarchies. He shows what influences really drive politics in the Middle East as well as how U.S. foreign policy must respond to them in order to forge more meaningful ties with each country and preserve the stability of a fragile region that is vital to U.S. interests.

Stories of Democracy

Author: Mary Ann Tétreault
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231114893
Release Date: 2000
Genre: History

A sophisticated investigation of the shifting tides of democratic governance in modern Kuwait from 1921 to the present based on interviews both with political activists and members of the political elite, Stories of Democracy sheds light on a wide array of issues concerning Middle Eastern politics and democratic institutions in general. Mary Ann Tétreault explores how various political factions have sought to advance their own notions of Kuwaiti history and politics through distinctive popular appeals: (1) pro-democracy forces focusing on Kuwait's relationship to the universal values of the democratic world around them, and (2) anti-democrats proffering Arab and Muslim religious and cultural traditions. She explores how such dramatic events as the suspension of the Kuwaiti constitution in 1986 and the invasion by Iraq in 1990 occasioned major shifts in the course of the democracy movement. The current running through virtually all of the nation's political drama is the monolithic Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), used by the government as an instrument of economic strength to safeguard sovereignty in the absence of military might.

Kuwait and the Sea

Author: Yaʻqūb Yūsuf Ḥijjī
Publisher: Arabian Pub Limited
ISBN: 0955889448
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Business & Economics

Kuwait has been inhabited for millennia, but began to emerge as an Arab shaikhdom relatively late, after the arrival of the `Utub clans of central Arabia during the first decades of the 18th century. Entering the historical record first as a junction of caravan and sea routes, it quickly grew to be a commercial rival to Basra at the head of the Gulf. As its prosperity increased, it had to negotiate a precarious autonomy amongst its larger neighbours-the Ottomans in Iraq, the Saudis and Rashidis in central Arabia, and the British who, from 1820, set about establishing an effective maritime peace in the Gulf. By the end of the 19th century, despite their complete lack of natural resources of any kind, even fresh water, Kuwait's people had managed to exploit their geopolitical position to turn their town into the busiest dhow port on the Gulf. Its greatest ruler, Mubarak Al-Sabah (r. 1896-1915), deftly manipulated Turkey and the European powers to achieve both British protection and, by 1914, sovereignty for his tiny state. The sea was the vital factor in Kuwait's rise to prominence in the Gulf region and beyond. Its society was formed by the dhow trade in dates and by its dhow-building and pearling industries, which attracted both Arabs and Persians to the town. Focusing mainly on the first decades of the 20th century, Dr Yacoub Al-Hijji paints a vivid portrait of the merchants, captains, navigators, dhow builders, sailors, pearl divers and fishermen of this remarkable shaikhdom. In explaining their techniques, and analysing how they organized themselves according to the customary law and traditions of a tribal, pre-bureaucratic era, he conveys a compelling picture of the bustle and hardships of a way of life which, during the 1940s and 1950s, was to be completely erased by new-found prosperity from oil.

Mobilizing Islam

Author: Carrie Rosefsky Wickham
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231500838
Release Date: 2005-01-22
Genre: Political Science

The book explains how Islamist groups captured the hearts and minds of educated youth in Egypt. It focuses on the first twelve years of Hosni Mubarak's presidency, from 1981 to 1993, the period when participation in the movement reached its peak and before a wave of repression brought it to an abrupt end.

Inside the Brotherhood

Author: Hazem Kandil
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780745682952
Release Date: 2014-11-12
Genre: Social Science

This is the first in-depth study of the relationship between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its own members. Drawing on years of participant observation, extensive interviews, previously inaccessible organizational documents, and dozens of memoirs and writings, the book provides an intimate portrayal of the recruitment and socialization of Brothers, the evolution of their intricate social networks, and the construction of the peculiar ideology that shapes their everyday practices. Drawing on his original research, Kandil reinterprets the Brotherhood’s slow rise and rapid downfall from power in Egypt, and compares it to the Islamist subsidiaries it created and the varieties it inspired around the world. This timely book will be of great interest to students and scholars of the politics of the Middle East and to anyone who wants to understand the dramatic events unfolding in Egypt and elsewhere in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

International Politics of the Persian Gulf

Author: Mehran Kamrava
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815651529
Release Date: 2011
Genre: National security

For much of the contemporary history of the Middle East, the Persian Gulf has stood at the center of the region's strategic significance. At the same time, the Gulf has been wracked by political instability and tension. Together, the essays in this volume present a comprehensive, detailed, and accessible account of the international politics of the region. Focusing on the key factors that give the Persian Gulf its strategic significance, contributors look at the influence of vast deposits of oil and natural gas on international politics, the impact of the competing centers of power of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the nature of relationships among countries within the Persian Gulf, and the evolving interaction between Islam and politics. Throughout the collection, issues of internal and international security are shown to be central.

Cultivating the Nile

Author: Jessica Barnes
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822376217
Release Date: 2014-08-20
Genre: Nature

The waters of the Nile are fundamental to life in Egypt. In this compelling ethnography, Jessica Barnes explores the everyday politics of water: a politics anchored in the mundane yet vital acts of blocking, releasing, channeling, and diverting water. She examines the quotidian practices of farmers, government engineers, and international donors as they interact with the waters of the Nile flowing into and through Egypt. Situating these local practices in relation to broader processes that affect Nile waters, Barnes moves back and forth from farmer to government ministry, from irrigation canal to international water conference. By showing how the waters of the Nile are constantly made and remade as a resource by people in and outside Egypt, she demonstrates the range of political dynamics, social relations, and technological interventions that must be incorporated into understandings of water and its management.

Walls Built On Sand

Author: Anh Nga Longva
Publisher: Westview Press
ISBN: 0813337852
Release Date: 1999-10-01
Genre: History

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the sight of tens of thousands of non-Kuwaiti Arabs, Indians, East Asians, and Westerners fleeing or trapped under occupation made the outside world suddenly aware of a singular fact of Kuwaiti society—that Kuwaitis are an absolute minority in their own country. Basing her analysis on extensive fieldwork and archival research, the author examines the social dimension of labor migration to Kuwait since independence in 1961, exploring how the presence of over one million foreign workers has influenced the way Kuwaitis organize their lives and perceive themselves. In particular, Longva looks at the relations between two sharply differentiated social categories and the politics of exclusion that have allowed Kuwaitis to protect their rights and privileges as citizens against infringement by the huge influx of expatriates. Longva examines the little-studied system of kafala, or sponsorship, under which all foreign workers enter and reside in the country, showing how it has become the most critical source of power for native Kuwaitis vis-à-vis immigrants. She also addresses aspects of ethnicity and class, describes the life of expatriates, and looks at developments in gender relations and the role of women in building the national identity in the context of migration and modernization.

Business Politics in the Middle East

Author: Steffen Hertog
Publisher: Hurst Publishers
ISBN: 9781849042352
Release Date: 2013-04-25
Genre: Business & Economics

Although most Arab countries remain authoritarian, many have undergone a restructuring of state-society relations in which lower- and middle-class interest groups have lost ground while big business has benefited in terms of its integration into policy-making and the opening of economic sectors that used to be state-dominated. Arab businesses have also started taking on aspects of public service provision in health, media and education that used to be the domain of the state; they have also become increasingly active in philanthropy. The ‘Arab Spring,’ which is likely to lead to a more pluralistic political order, makes it all the more important to understand business interests in the Middle East, a segment of society that on the one hand has often been close to the ancien regime, but on the other will play a pivotal role in a future social contract. Among the topics addressed by the authors are the role of business in recent regime change; the political outlook of businessmen; the consequences of economic liberalisation on the composition of business elites in the Middle East; the role of the private sector in orienting government policies; lobbying of government by business interests and the mechanisms by which governments seek to keep businesses dependent on them.

Kuwait Transformed

Author: Farah Al-Nakib
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804798570
Release Date: 2016-04-13
Genre: History

As the first Gulf city to experience oil urbanization, Kuwait City's transformation in the mid-twentieth century inaugurated a now-familiar regional narrative: a small traditional town of mudbrick courtyard houses and plentiful foot traffic transformed into a modern city with marble-fronted buildings, vast suburbs, and wide highways. In Kuwait Transformed, Farah Al-Nakib connects the city's past and present, from its settlement in 1716 to the twenty-first century, through the bridge of oil discovery. She traces the relationships between the urban landscape, patterns and practices of everyday life, and social behaviors and relations in Kuwait. The history that emerges reveals how decades of urban planning, suburbanization, and privatization have eroded an open, tolerant society and given rise to the insularity, xenophobia, and divisiveness that characterize Kuwaiti social relations today. The book makes a call for a restoration of the city that modern planning eliminated. But this is not simply a case of nostalgia for a lost landscape, lifestyle, or community. It is a claim for a "right to the city"—the right of all inhabitants to shape and use the spaces of their city to meet their own needs and desires.

The Transformation of the Gulf

Author: David Held
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136698408
Release Date: 2013-03-01
Genre: History

This book examines the political, economic and social transformation of the six member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the ways in which these states are both shaping and being reshaped by, the processes of globalization.

The Arab Uprisings Explained

Author: Marc Lynch
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231158855
Release Date: 2014-08-05
Genre: Political Science

Why did Tunisian protests following the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi lead to a massive wave of uprisings across the entire Arab world? Who participated in those protests, and what did they hope to achieve? Why did some leaders fall in the face of popular mobilization while others found ways to survive? And what have been the lasting results of the contentious politics of 2011 and 2012? The Arab uprisings pose stark challenges to the political science of the Middle East, which for decades had focused upon the resilience of entrenched authoritarianism, the relative weakness of civil society, and what seemed to be the largely contained diffusion of new norms and ideas through new information technologies. In this volume, leading scholars in the field take a sharp look at the causes, dynamics, and effects of the Arab uprisings. Compiled by one of the foremost experts on Middle East politics and society, The Arab Uprisings Explained offers a fresh rethinking of established theories and presents a new framework through which scholars and general readers can better grasp the fast-developing events remaking the region. These essays not only advance the study of political science in the Middle East but also integrate the subject seamlessly into the wider political science literature. Deeply committed to the study of this region and working out the kinks of the discipline, the contributors to this volume help scholars and policymakers across the world approach this unprecedented historical period smartly and effectively.