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The Political Economy of Oil and the Crisis of the Arab State System

Author

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  • Daniel Atzori

    (FEEM and Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI))

Abstract

This paper argues that the so-called Arab spring is part of a tectonic shift which signals the frailty of the Arab state system as such. Countries benefitting from oil and gas rents have been more resilient, because of their potential to create systems of incentives and disincentives in order to prevent disruptive social change. Islamism, whose emergence is connected with rentier state dynamics is, at the same time, an opportunity and a threat for the survival of the Arab state and, in general, of the Arab states system. In this context, national oil companies can increasingly be conceptualized not merely as instruments of the state, but as bulwarks of nation-state legitimacy in a period of chaos.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Atzori, 2013. "The Political Economy of Oil and the Crisis of the Arab State System," Working Papers 2013.61, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.61
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    Keywords

    Oil; Energy; Political Economy; MENA; Globalization; Arab Spring;

    JEL classification:

    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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