The United Arab Emirates : a study in survival
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This present thesis seeks to account for the UAE's remarkable socio-economic development path while also attempting to explain the survival of the state's seemingly anachronistic political structures. In doing so, the thesis proceeds to set up a multi-layered framework drawing upon and reconciling elements of the two major schools of development theory. Specifically, a dependency analysis is used to demonstrate the UAE's inherited situation, including the region's historic peripheralisation, its early rentier structures, and the external reinforcement of a client elite; while a combination of rentier-dependency models and revised modernisation theories are used to illustrate the way in which the UAE's contemporary monarchies have managed to consolidate their position and secure considerable political stability, which is itself an important prerequisite of the modernisation process. With regard to the recent attempts of these 'modernising monarchies' to improve die more negative aspects of their dependency situation, it is shown that while there have been successes there have also been serious development pathologies, and in many ways these must be regarded as the hidden costs of escaping the inevitability of early modernisation predictions and the demise of tradition. Essentially, viewed within a Weberian variant of modernisation theory, the strengthening of the structures which allowed for the stability in the first place can in many cases be seen to have gone too far and has now made legal-rational objectives difficult to achieve. Finally, however, it is suggested that greater modernisation, especially in the form of positive globalising forces, may still provide solutions for these problems. Indeed, while die first wave of globalisation may have reinforced entrenched dependency structures, there are nevertheless clear indications that something of a second wave may well lead to liberalising reforms, a more diversified economy, and a stronger civil society.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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