Rentier Wealth and Unruly Law: The Political Economy of Oil States

Rentier Wealth and Unruly Law: The Political Economy of Oil States

  • 12 May 1996

Throughout the Middle East, there have been increasing
demands for social justice, meaningful economic
development and political reform. The presence of such
demands is especially interesting in the rentier states,
or oil states. Since revenues accrue from abroad, the
state does not depend upon the populace for taxation
revenues. The primary function of government becomes
distribution rather than extraction.
The speaker argued that political reality is quite
different. The wealth generated through oil receipts
has instead often been a catalyst to opposition rather
than a tool for the placation of dissent in rentier
states. The decision not to distribute oil wealth to a
particular group/region/class is a choice with notable
consequences. The argument was illustrated in depth in
the Saudi Arabian case and then, parallels were drawn to
other rentier states (including Kuwait, the UAE, Algeria,
Iran and Venezuela).

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LECTURER

Sunday 12 May 1996

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Sunday 12 May 1996

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