Authoritarianism and democracy in rentier states

Analyzing countries with populations overPolity reaches a similar result: My argument also explains 10 Arab underachievers. Saudi Arabia and the UAE deployed 1, troops and policemen, respectively, to Bahrain in order to support the kingdom against the popular protests. They cite the lack of horizontal voluntary association as a reason for the persistence of authoritarianism in the region.

Hydrocarbon production has played a key role in the divergence of these two regions: Hazem Beblawi and Giacomo Luciani have argued that this could create a "rentier mentality," [4] while political scientist Fareed Zakaria has posited that such states fail to develop politically because, in the absence of taxes, citizens have less incentive to place pressure on the government to become responsive to their needs.

Statistical evidence from a panel data set of the Argentine provinces strongly confirms this expectation, even after controlling for standard alternative explanations such as level of development. The number of democracies has increased from about a dozen at the end of the World War II to around a hundred today.

Given the theoretical framework of this article, there are two main possibilities for democratization in MENA and Central Asia. The Middle Eastern countries with Constitutional monarchies are generally considered democratic. For Central Asian republics, rentierism and the Soviet legacy are complementary factors.

Lebanon has the best Freedom House score 4. A rapprochement between Arab Islamists and Western countries on a shared democratic vision79 could create a new, truly regional wave of democratization in MENA, which could even affect Central Asia in the long run.

As mentioned above, remittances are crucial for these two countries and 90 percent of their remittances come from Russia followed by Kazakhstan. Ironically, although US leaders talk about democracy and human rights consistently but on the other hand they have ensured full support and backing to the authoritarian and monarchical forces in the middle east.

This article argues that the combined effects of rentier states and regional diffusion provide the best explanation. Intergovernmental revenue-sharing rules that produce large vertical fiscal imbalances and favor the economically smaller districts provide their incumbents with generous "fiscal federalism rents" that allow them to restrict democratic contestation and weaken checks and balances.

Lebanon[ edit ] Lebanon has traditionally enjoyed a confessional democratic system. Drawing from the work of Alexis de Tocqueville and Robert Putnam, these researchers suggest that independent, nongovernmental associations help foster a participatory form of governance.

Nevertheless, different measurements do not substantially change the country lists. The budget, in effect, is little more than an expenditure programme. It is the only non-superpower current or ex in the list of top 4 spenders globally.

Oil, gas, and mineral productions, in contrast, are geographically static and controlled by a small number of individuals.

This combined with the view that he is the representative of God held by some religious groups, being the head of the security and armed forces, and controlling the official state media the radio and television are restricted to state radio and television makes him immune from any kind of criticism and unchallengeable.

Some survey data also problematize the argument of Lewis and Huntington. Rent per capita is another alternative measurement that has been widely used. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.

Instead, the government essentially 'bribes' the citizenry with extensive social welfare programs, becoming an allocation or distributive state. He posits that less democratic regimes are more likely in rentier provinces—those that receive disproportionately large central government transfers and practically forgo local taxation.

The economy relies on a substantial external rent — and therefore does not require a strong domestic productive sector. The taxpayers can move their money and business to other countries.

Rentier state

Islamic governments[ edit ] The Iranian Revolution of resulted in an electoral system an Islamic Republic with a constitutionbut the system has a limited democracy in practice.

Sensitivity analysis shows that this finding is extremely robust to alternative panel estimators. Moreover, seeking resource rents is not an exclusive characteristic of poor or authoritarian countries. Statistical evidence from a panel data set of the Argentine provinces strongly confirms this expectation, even after controlling for standard alternative explanations such as level of development.

Oil is in such demand that it does not require adherence to free market principles and economic freedom based on rule of law, security, a fair and transparent judiciary and property rights. Income is no longer a reward of serious and hard work; it is very often related to special circumstances, chance, location, etc.

Elected governments can allocate rents, rather than redistributing wealth. The United Iraqi Alliancethe winner of the recent elections in Iraq, is a coalition including many religious parties. Also the fourth unchangeable article of constitution states that all other articles of the constitution and all other laws are void if they violate Islamic rules, and the Guardian Council is given the duty of interpreting the constitution and verifying that all laws passed the parliament are not against Islamic laws.

A historical opportunity for such a rapprochement has been lost during the Arab uprisings, but it can reappear again in the future. The government has only to keep its people in line so that they do not overthrow it and start collecting the oil rents themselves.

These and other policies contributed to alienating nationalists, leftists, and religious groups.In a recent article, I explained disproportionate authoritarianism in 49 Muslim-majority countries with the combined effect of regional diffusion and oil-rich rentier states (Kuru, ).

authoritarian regimes in the Gulf region and elsewhere, it does not explain how resource dependence could lead to the breakdown of democracy and the emergence of authoritarian governments.

the state by force.

Democracy in the Middle East

For example, elites may launch coups against democracy, while subordi-nate groups can threaten authoritarian regimes with popular mobilization and, in the limit, with revolution. Yet opportunities for coups may be transient, and social revolutions are rare events (Skocpol ). How to Cite.

The paradox of a “Rentier State”

Kuru, A. T. (), Authoritarianism and Democracy in Muslim Countries: Rentier States and Regional Diffusion. Political Science Quarterly, A RENTIER THEORY OF SUBNATIONAL REGIMES Fiscal Federalism, Democracy, and Authoritarianism in the Argentine Provinces By CARLOS GERVASONI* SCHOLARS of political regimes have long noticed that the extent to which citizens of democracies enjoy political rights and freedoms.

Authoritarianism and Democracy in Rentier States Thad Dunning Department of Political Science University of California, Berkeley. 2 CHAPTER ONE Resource rents, authoritarianism, and democracy In the contemporary era, oil is the paradigmatic example of a natural resource that.

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Authoritarianism and democracy in rentier states
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