Arab Nationalism, Oil, and the Political Economy of Dependency

Arab Nationalism, Oil, and the Political Economy of Dependency

Arab Nationalism, Oil, and the Political Economy of Dependency

Arab Nationalism, Oil, and the Political Economy of Dependency

Synopsis

Contending that Arab economic development was shaped by Arab nationalist thought, the emergence of the oil industry in the Arab region, and the integration of Arab economies into the international economic system, Alnasrawi analyzes the evolution of each of the three forces and their impact on the evolution of the Arab economies, along with their present status. The volume develops the concept of derivative dependency which demonstrates the affect of the economies of oil-producing states on the economies of non-oil states. A timely epilogue focuses on the current Iraq/Kuwait situation.

Excerpt

The failure of the Arab oil weapon was inevitable, given the nature of the dependency of individual economies on the oil sector and the broader pattern of security, political, economic, and cultural dependence on the industrial countries especially the United States. the multiple dependency linkages in virtually every facet of interaction between the Arab countries and the United States mitigated any genuinely independent actions by Arab governments. Arab governments were not only incapable of acting against United States interests, but they were unwilling to do so, given the long history of close alliances between Arab ruling elites on the one hand and the United States government on the other. From the perspective of any Arab government, there were no compelling reasons to act against their own self-interests by antagonizing the United States or undermining its interests in the region. Even the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict was construed to be neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition to change the nature of dependent relations with the United States. An analysis of the actions of the Saudi government in the post-1973 oil price revolution will shed some light on the degree of Arab government reliance on the United States.

The regional context of saudi arabia

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies a special position of influence in the Arab region because of its geographical location, its role in influencing inter- Arab affairs, its leadership role in the creation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and its special position in the Islamic world. in addition, the unique manner in which its oil sector was developed by American multinational oil corporations; the extraordinary size of its oil reserve endowment; the relative importance of its oil output within the Arab world, the Middle East, opec, and world output . . .

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