This book examines the divergent paths followed by Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE): whereas the UAE, led by Dubai, has diversified its economy beyond oil, the Kuwaiti economy remains almost entirely dependent on oil. It analyzes the distinctive politics and economics of the Gulf monarchies by focusing on how the often-competing interests of rulers, capitalists, citizens, and expatriates take shape in Gulf states with more or less political participation and in those with more or less oil rent per capita. It describes two groups of Gulf rentiers: extreme rentiers (Kuwait, UAE, and Qatar) and middling rentiers (Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain). It also considers the Kuwaiti National Assembly and how it gives the citizen majority a voice in determining economic policy. Finally, it compares the Dubai model and the Kuwait model of economic development and their influence in the Gulf. In the remainder of this chapter, the literature on the resource curse is discussed, with particular emphasis on how it deals with class politics in really rich rentiers.
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