Daniele Atzori

Middle East: Oil Income and Political Change

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The rentier state theory identifi es a relationship between the economy of the oil exporting countries and the nature of their states. According to this theory, the «oil disease» has spread to the whole Middle East and North Africa, being a major factor in the emergence of authoritarian regimes. In July 2011, Hazem Beblawi, one of the main theorists of the «rentier state» paradigm, has been appointed Minister of Finance of Egypt. This article explores to what extent the rentier state theory can still provide a conceptual framework to understand the contemporary MENA region, as well as contributing to the implementation of economic reforms that can realise the aspirations of the Arab spring.


  • Oil
  • Political Change


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