A Socio-Political and Geo-Economic Historica Background

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Contextualizing the Notion of a State

The word “state” has two distinct meanings in everyday usage, which are frequently conflated. One use refers to sovereign political entities: those states with international recognition, their own boundaries, their own seat at the United Nations and their own flag. The other refers to that set of institutions and practices which combine administrative, judicial, rulemaking and coercive powers (Owen 2004:2). It is the second of the two definitions that is relevant and of importance to this chapter. According to Weber, “….the state is an actor able to formulate and pursue its own goals” (Luiz 2000:228). Migdal (1988:19 cited in Luiz 2000:228), using a Weberian ideal-type perspective, defines the state as: [….] an organization, composed of numerous agencies led and coordinated by the state’s leadership (executive authority) that has the ability or authority to make and implement the binding rules for all the people as well as the parameters of rule making for other social organizations in a given territory, using force if necessary to have its way.

Context of state intervention

One of the most extraordinary enigmas in economics lies in the area of the state (Luiz 2000:227). The World Development Report (1997) makes the salient point that “…around the globe, the state is in the spotlight. Far reaching developments in the global economy have us revisiting the basic questions about government: what its role should be, what it can and cannot do and how best to do it.” As a partial answer to those fundamental questions, Fritz and Menocal (2007:540) articulate the view that “in the 1960s, donors assumed that states in the developing world could act as engines of development and therefore could be funded to enable investments and generate growth.”

Rentier state: concept and assumptions

The rentier state was theorized and diffused into the hybridization model explained above. The “concept of the rentier state was postulated by Hossein Mahadavy with respect to pre-revolutionary Pahlavi Iran in 1970” (Yates 1996:11). However, “….the concept of a rentier state gained renewed interest with the advent of the oil era and the emergence of the new Arab oil- 153 producing states” (Beblawi & Luciani 1987:49). The rentier-state theory is not dissimilar to other meta-narratives on development paradigms and is “…a complex of associated ideas concerning the patterns of development and the nature of states in economies dominated by external rent, particularly oil rent” (Yates 1996:11).

Developmental state

The political economy of development took on a new dimension in the 1980’s at the height of the debate between the “state versus market” theories (Moore 2001:44). The concept of the “developmental state” (DS) was then added to the lexicon of development discourse; its socio-political and historical nuances are clarified below. Öniş (1991:111) and Cloete (2010:3) are of the opinion that the DS has its origins in “Chalmers Johnson’s (1982) analysis of the development of the Japanese state from 1925 to 1975.” He also pioneered the concept of the ‘capitalist developmental state’ as explained below: …. Johnson’s model of the developmental state, based on institutional arrangements common to high growth East Asian economies, embodies the following set of characteristics. Economic development, defined in terms of growth, productivity, and competitiveness, constitutes the foremost and single-minded priority of state action. Conflict of goals is avoided by the absence of any commitment to equality and social welfare. Goals formulated specifically in terms of growth and competitiveness is rendered concrete by comparison with external reference economies which provide the state elites with models for emulation (Öniş 1991:111).

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Competition state

As the anthropology of Dubai Inc (1998-2008) most transformative period is being written, undoubtedly it will reveal what Low (2006:515) describes as the “…ubiquitous and omnipotent presence of the,” Dubai state apparatus. Similarly, as in the rentier and developmental state paradigms explained above, the competition state paradigm forms an integral part of the trimodal theoretical framework approach that seeks to explain the Dubai Inc developmental path. The competition state is a useful paradigmatic instrument for analyzing and situating Dubai’s socio-economic transformation between 1998 and 2008. Rather than attempting to insulate (Cerny & Evans 2004) Dubai from global economic and financial integration (globalization) the CEO of Dubai Inc, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and his close confidantes (state actors) in the Executive Council embraced “international market pressures, marketization and openness” (Cerny & Evans 2004).

Dubai’s development policies

A development policy is part of the broader terrain of what is often referred to as “the policy sciences”, which in turn are dominated by a focus on public or governmental policy (Haines 2004:4). Within the parameters of this definition, macro-development policies were agglomerated to achieve social and economic development as postulated by the “Truman Doctrine” in the post World War II era. Social as well as “economic policy and practice have varied widely” (Leftwich1995:401) across countries and are influenced by multiple political and economic factors: such as the strength of the state, type of political regime, socio-political history and the economic development paradigm that dominates the political and academic sphere at a particular point in time.

Table of Contents :

  • Declaration
  • Acknowledgements
  • Dedication
  • Abstract
  • Key Words: Rentier, Developmental, Competition State, Emiratisation, State-Led Capitalism, Dubai Strategic Plans, Dubai Model and
  • Emirate.Table of Contents
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • List of Acronyms
  • List of Acronyms
  • Chapter One:
  • Research Outline
    • 1.1. Introduction
    • 1.2. Background to the Study: An Overview of the Middle East’s Social and Geo-Political Economy
    • 1.3. Research Objectives
    • 1.4. Significance and Justification of the Study
    • 1.5. Conceptualisation of the Developmental Process
    • 1.6. Theoretical Framework
    • 1.7. Research Methodology
    • 1.8. Time Period Covered by the Study
    • 1.9. Scope and Delimitations of Study
    • 1.10. Structure of the thesis
  • Chapter Two
  • Trucial States: A Socio-Political and Geo-Economic Historica Background
    • 2.1. Introduction
    • 2.2. Early Settlers of the UAE and Dubai (Bedouins)
    • 2.3. Ottoman Influence
    • 2.4. Arrival of the Europeans
    • 2.5. Overview of Dubai’s Historical Background
    • 2.6. Formation of the UAE and its Political Systems & Structure at the Federal and Emirate Level
    • 2.7. UAE’s Federal Constitution and Political Institutions
    • 2.8. Political Structure at the Local/ Emirate Level
    • 2.9. Socio-Economic Development of Dubai in the U.A.E
    • 2.10. Conclusion
  • Chapter Three: Re-Contextualizing Dubai’s Development Discourse: A Literature Review
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Geo-politics of the Region
    • 3.3. Politics of Development
    • 3.4. Development Trajectory of the Arab World
    • 3.5. Oil Curse Theory
    • 3.6. Development Theory Shortcomings:
    • 3.7. Conclusion
  • Chapter Four:
  • Research Methodology
    • 4.1. Introduction
    • 4.2. Research Questions
    • 4.3. Research Design
    • 4.4. Research Paradigms
    • 4.5. Data Collection: Sources, Methods and Procedures
    • 4.6. Data collection instruments
    • 4.7. Qualitative triangulation
    • 4.8. Data Presentation and Analysis
    • 4.9. Sampling Designs
    • 4.10. Ethical Considerations
    • 4.11. Limitations
    • 4.12. Conclusion
  • Chapter Five
  • Competing Development Theories: A Snapshot of their Central Propositions & Shortcomings

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AN ANALYSIS OF DUBAI’S SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE BETWEEN 1998 —-2008

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