GCC Countries as "Rentier States" Revisited, a Book Review by by Robert Springbord of The Gulf Region: Economic Development and Diversification (4 vols.), ed. by Giaccomo Luciani, Steffen Hertog, Eckart Woertz, and Richard Youngs
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Giacomo Luciani, the senior editor of this four volume set, along with Hazem Beblawi laid the conceptual foundations for Arab rentier states a quarter of a century ago.1 He and his team of some 40 researchers have now revisited this concept as part of a broader effort to describe and analyze the political economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The very title of the flagship volume edited by Luciani, Resources Blessed: Diversification and the Gulf Development Model, suggests revision to the prevailing, Luciani-influenced orthodoxy that the resource curse and its attendant rentierism are inherently inconsistent with economic diversification and development. Revisionism implied by the title is indeed borne out as the editor and authors present a largely positive account of the economic accomplishments and future of the GCC states, distancing themselves, sometimes explicitly, not only from negative prognostications for rentier states, but even from the present applicability of the concept itself to the “mothers” of all rentier states, those that comprise the GCC.
Reviewed: The Gulf Region: Economic Development and Diversification (4 vols.), ed. by Giaccomo Luciani, Steffen Hertog, Eckart Woertz, and Richard Youngs. Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2012.Resources Blessed: Diversification and the Gulf Development Model (Vol. 1), ed. by Giacomo Luciani.National Employment, Migration and Education in the GCC (Vol. 2), ed. by Steffen Hertog.GCC Financial Markets: The World’s New Money Centers (Vol. 3), ed. by Eckert Woertz.The GCC in the Global Economy (Vol. 4), ed. by Richard Youngs.The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/67.2.3
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