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Liberalizing Autocracies in the Gulf Region? Reform Strategies in the Face of a Cultural-Economic Syndrome

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  • Weiffen, Brigitte
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    Abstract

    Summary From an international comparative perspective, the stability of autocratic regimes in the countries of the Gulf region is striking. This paper presents historical-cultural as well as economic explanations and proposes that the interaction of both factors constitutes a cultural-economic syndrome accounting for the persistence of authoritarianism. Macro-quantitative analyses demonstrate the significant influence of this syndrome, which operates through a mechanism of mutual reinforcement and substitution. Departing from this diagnosis, potential remedies are discussed: political and economic reform measures pursued in the 1990s are explored, and the Gulf monarchies are classified according to four ideal-typical combinations of reform strategies.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VC6-4SWP267-M/2/3fa68f94edacc5374dba3a2fed87370e
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 2586-2604

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:2586-2604

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

    Related research

    Keywords: Gulf States Islam rentierism authoritarianism liberalization economic restructuring;

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    1. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
    3. Tarik M. Yousef, 2004. "Development, Growth and Policy Reform in the Middle East and North Africa since 1950," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 91-115, Summer.
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    Cited by:
    1. Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Michael Landesmann & Isilda Mara & Arno Tausch & Jan Toporowski, 2013. "Monthly Report No. 8-9/2013," wiiw Monthly Reports 2013-08-09, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Michael Landesmann & Kateryna Markevych & Sandor Richter & Vasyl Yurchyshyn, 2013. "Monthly Report No. 7/2013," wiiw Monthly Reports 2013-07, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    3. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2011. "Political Instrumentalization of Islam and the Risk of Obscurantist Deadlock," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 243-260, February.

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