The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam

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9781588267061: The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam
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If petroleum buys political legitimacy in the Arab Gulf states, how can we explain the rise of dissent and calls for political reform despite sustained oil revenues? The answer, according to Sean Foley, lies in political, social, and economic dynamics that have been brewing beneath the surface for more than a decade and that are slowly shifting the balance of political power.

Though Foley does not disagree that oil revenues have been important in preserving the power of Gulf autocrats, he goes beyond popular stereotypes to identify other crucial forces that are conspiring to disrupt the status quo. Chief among these are the telecommunications revolution, which has brought news of democracy (as well as regime misdeeds) to people s homes, the lack of jobs for major segments of the male population, and the increasing economic power of women and minority groups. It is these complex issues, Foley shows us, that are at the forefront as the Arab Gulf states grapple with the challenges of both modernity and money.

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About the Author:

Sean Foley is assistant professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University.

Review:

Make[s] the reader realize that the people of the Arab Gulf states are much more like us than we are likely to imagine. --Karen K. Clark, Digest of Middle East Studies

An extremely welcome addition.... This book should be read by all scholars, students, and analysts studying this vitally important region. --James Russell, Middle East Journal

Brings out well the challenges, future possibilities, and oft-overlooked complexities of the six monarchical states of the Gulf.... This is a wonderful addition to the literature, advancing scholarly understanding while being eminently accessible to the interested lay person. --Gerd Nonneman, International Affairs

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