About the book
If petroleum buys political legitimacy in the Arab Gulf states, how can we explain the rise of dissent and calls for political reform despite sustained oil revenues?
The answer, according to Sean Foley, lies in political, social, and economic dynamics that have been brewing beneath the surface for more than a decade—and that are slowly shifting the balance of political power. Though Foley does not disagree that oil revenues have been important in preserving the power of Gulf autocrats, he goes beyond popular stereotypes to identify other crucial forces that are conspiring to disrupt the status quo. Chief among these are the telecommunications revolution, which has brought news of democracy (as well as regime misdeeds) to people’s homes, the lack of jobs for major segments of the male population, and the increasing economic power of women and minority groups. It is these complex issues, Foley shows us, that are at the forefront as the Arab Gulf states grapple with the challenges of both modernity and money.
The Emergence of the Modern Gulf, 1930-1981 • The British Raj in the Gulf • The Long Road to Sovereignty • The Second Oil Era • Conclusion
Globalization, Wars, and a Telecommunications Revolution • The Gulf in the 1980s • Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait • The War and Gulf Society • A New "Old" Order in the Gulf • Political Reform • The Saudi Islamist Challenge • Satellite Broadcasting • The Politics of Socioeconomic Limits • Conclusion
The Twenty-First-Century Gulf • Finding a New Balance • Security, Reform, and Succession • A New Boom and Its Consequences • Conclusion
When Only Women Will Work • Gender, the West, and the Gulf • Women in Gulf History before 1930 • The First Oil Era • The Oil Boom and the Resurgence of Islam, 1970-1980 • A New Islamic Course • The Limits of the Islamic Façade • Socioeconomic Tensions in the 1990s • Setting the Agenda • An Alliance • Are Women the Solution? • Conclusion
Inclusion, Tolerance, and Accommodation • At the Dawn of the Twentieth century • Insiders as Outsiders: The Shia of the Gulf • Oil and Decolonization • Nationalization, Revolution, and the Lessons of Iraq • Conclusion
Beyond Oil and Islam