Modern Middle East Studies Colloquia: DPhil lunchtime series: Natural Resources and Political Economy in the Middle East

Modern Middle East Studies Colloquia: DPhil lunchtime series: Natural Resources and Political Economy in the Middle East

Monday, 3 February 2014 - 5:45pm
68 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6JF, the Middle East Centre
Allison Hartnett (Corpus Christi College)
Makio Yamada (St Antony’s College)
MEC Seminar

We are calling on interested research students to take part in the relaunch of the Oxford Middle East Centre DPhil colloquium for 2013-14. This lunchtime lecture series is open to new and returning research students in the humanities and social sciences on the modern and contemporary Middle East. The objective is to provide an opportunity to present their ongoing work and obtain useful feedback from an informed audience. Moreover, we are keen to encourage the development of a creative space of discussion and to foster a sense of community, to counter-balance the unstructured and solitary experience of the DPhil. The lunchtime series will be held during term time on Mondays from 12.45 on uneven weeks at the Middle East Centre’s main reading room (66 Woodstock Road). Attendance is open to all students, researchers and academics, and we are keen to have as many DPhil students involved in this initiative. The fourth meeting will be held on Monday February 3rd on natural ressources and political economy in the Middle East The lunchtime series will be organized around student presentations and they will be followed by a discussion. The form and content of the presentations are left to the discretion of the speaker as long as it is related to her or his academic research. Those interested in speaking for the first term should email as soon as possible with the following information ; a complete programme for Michaelmas term will be circulated in the coming days. Guidelines for Abstract Submissions: around 100 words and contain a title. you would be able to present. Presentations should be approximately 15 minutes.

Monday February 3rd , programme:

Makio Yamada, St Antony’s College Saudi Arabia as a “Production State with Rentier Characteristics”:

The Resource Curse Thesis was Wrong – and Right As a quarter century has passed since the publication of Luciani’s seminal work “Allocation vs. Production States”, a “post-rentier” scholarship is on the rise today. The new scholarship attempts to explain productive characteristics of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council which had been rejected in the Lucianian rentier state theory. The presenter analyses economic diversification in Saudi Arabia, especially the growth of manufacturing sector, by framing the country as a “production state with rentier characteristics”. He discusses why the oil-underdevelopment linkage, generally known as the resource curse thesis, was both wrong and right by incorporating the latest theoretical debate and testing his own concept of “rentier society”.

Allison Hartnett, Corpus Christi College Demanding Supply: exploring the political economy of water scarcity in King Abdullah II's Jordan Citing explosive population growth, refugee influx, and a natural death of water, Jordanian policy makers and international donors consistently contend that water is the most pressing development issue facing the Hashemite Kingdom. Stakeholders assert that while water scarcity and quality are critical concerns, institutional problems have posed significant challenges to the Jordanian water sector and institutional reforms have historically been difficult to implement. Specifically, the persistence of “informal” political dynamics in water governance that often run counter to formal policy objectives. This study examines the bureaucratic and local levels of Jordanian political life to explore why informal politics has persisted as a force in the domestic hydropolitical arena since the beginning of King Abdullah II’s reign in 1999. Informal water politics emerges as a by-product of historical development processes in Jordan. These informal structures have been utilized by the regime on a macro-level as a neopatrimonial survival tool, and the micro- and meso- levels of state-society interaction emerge as networked systems purposed for negotiating access to state resources.