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Oil Monarchies Paperback – June 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0876091517 ISBN-10: 0876091516
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations Press (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876091516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876091517
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lehigh History Student VINE VOICE on March 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gregory Gause delivers a book that will no doubt be a classic study on the political characteristics of oil monarchies and the ways in which these régimes maintain power despite the ongoing processes towards modernity. The sheer volume of money in which these régimes have access to combine with in some cases a small domestic population (relying on foreign workers for the heavy lifting) gives them a tremendous advantage in maintain power. In all of the countries surveyed (Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar) relationships had been developed through spiritual control and tribal relationships making normal political participation a much smaller scale than a standard republic. For those looking to gain an understanding of the political structure of the Middle East this is a great place to start and well worth the time to read.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Philadelphia on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Oil monarchies" means the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman). In a very useful survey, Gause reviews the internal and foreign policies of the six states and concludes with some thoughts on U.S. policy. Perhaps the author's most original argument concerns the allegedly traditional quality of the states in question. He notes that the advent of oil revenues gave the central governments unprecedented powers, which the rulers then used to limit the power of Islamic and tribal institutions, then dominate those domains. What we on the outside see as tradition "is in fact a construction of recent decades, in which rulers employ a political language redolent of Islamic and tribal overtones to convince their citizens" of their legitimacy." To those who see the oil monarchies as fragile blossoms, Gause notes that they survived the era of Pan-Arab nationalism and look to outlast radical Islamic ideologies. Indeed, he calls their legitimation formulas "remarkably successful" and concludes that "they must be doing something right."
Gause's only weak suit becomes apparent when he takes up U.S. policy. On the one hand, he would have Washington begin a dialogue with Tehran about the future of Iraq; on the other, he advises against American efforts to combat fundamentalist Islam or to increase female rights in Saudi Arabia. It's hard to say which is a worse idea.
Middle East Quarter, September 1994
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