A critical analysis of the role of oil in hindering transition towards democracy in the Middle East

Ahmed, Raed Asad (2010) A critical analysis of the role of oil in hindering transition towards democracy in the Middle East. Information, society and justice journal, 3 (2). pp. 95-105. ISSN 1756-1078

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Abstract

This article interrogates the role of resource wealth in hindering democracy and democratization in the Middle East. It questions the familiar argument that oil wealth is a catalyst for democracy and development, and argues that in the context of the Middle East, oil wealth appears to hamper transition towards democratization. This is because oil revenues are used by the states to maintain the authoritarian monarchies through the allocation of large portions of state budget to defense expenditure and state security apparatuses that are ostensibly used to quell clamors for democratization and resist external pressures. The article also underlines the importance of hydrocarbon energy for the economies of Western superpowers and the way these powers cope with meeting their energy needs by all means possible. It is argued that Western countries face a moral predicament in meeting their strategic oil needs from a region seen as
predominantly undemocratic and undemocratizing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information, society and justice journal; Democracy, Democratization; Democratisation; Oil; Hydrocarbon; State security; Middle East
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Department: School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2015 14:10
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2015 14:10
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/101

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