State-Business Relations in the Smaller Gulf Monarchies: The Role of Business Actors in the Decision-Making Process

Discussion Papers

No.524

by Marc VALERI

March 2015

ABSTRACT

The Arab monarchies of the Gulf have been undergoing striking socio-economic changes caused by the ending of the rent-based welfare state model on which they had largely relied since the 1950s. In this perspective, this paper aims at examining the comparative role of local business communities in affecting the orientations and the outcomes of the policies implemented during the period of high oil prices in the 2000s. This paper pays a special attention to the impact of the Arab Spring on the state-business relations in two of the smaller Gulf monarchies (Bahrain and Oman).

Keywords: Persian Gulf, Middle East, political economy, business, Arab Spring.

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