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

  • Weiffen, Brigitte
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    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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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. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    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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