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Middle East Monarchies Two brief cases in the nature and strategies of autocratic rule.

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Presentation on theme: "Middle East Monarchies Two brief cases in the nature and strategies of autocratic rule."— Presentation transcript:

1 Middle East Monarchies Two brief cases in the nature and strategies of autocratic rule

2 Case Study: Qatar Nature of the Regime: Emirate absolute monarch from al-Thani clan No political parties or organized opposition Strategy #1: keep citizens happy Free education, health care for citizens at all levels. Average pp annual income: $20,000 Helpful factors: tiny population, lots of oil Population: about 863,000, but only about 20% are Qatari citizens 90% of work force foreign 10% of world’s proven oil reserves

3 Qatari Emirate Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani Municipal Council elected, universal suffrage 29 members Al-Thani Family Al-Shoura Consultative Council 45 members Elected & appointed

4 Qatar, cont. Strategy #2: Allow some outlets for expression Relative freedom of speech and expression Elected 29-person municipal advisory council (currently includes one woman) 2003 Constitution Guarantees of civil rights Home of al-Jazeera TV (private but funded by Qatari govt) Strategy #3: defend “tradition” Maintain social order Wahabbi Islam Women: suffrage, but strong social codes limit public participation and work

5 New Qatari Constitution: some excerpts Article 8 The rule of the State is hereditary in the family of Al Thani and in the line of the male descendants of Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Bin Abdullah Bin Jassim. The rule shall be inherited by the son named as Heir Apparent by the Emir. In the case that there is no such son, the prerogatives of rule shall pass to the member of the family named by the Emir as Heir Apparent. In this case, his male descendants shall inherit the rule. Article 67 The Emir shall discharge the following functions:1. Drawing up the general policy of the State with the assistance of the Council of Ministers;2. Ratification and promulgation of laws; and no such law may be issued unless it is ratified by the Emir;3. Summoning the Council of Ministers to convene at any time deemed necessary for public interest; and the Emir shall preside over the meetings of the Council of Ministers that he attends;4. Appointment of civil servants and military personnel and terminating their service in accordance with the law;5. Accrediting diplomatic and consular missions;6. Granting pardon or commuting penalty in accordance with the law;7. Conferring civilian and military orders and badges of honour in accordance with the law;8. Establishment and organization of ministries and other Government bodies and specifying their functions;9. Establishment and organization of such consultative bodies to assist him in directing, supervising, and specifying the functions of the high policies of the State;10. Any other functions vested upon him by this Constitution or the law. Article 76- Al-Shoura Council shall assume the legislative authority, approve the general policy of the Government, the budget, and it shall exercise control over the executive authority as specified in this Constitution. Article 77 Al-Shoura Council shall consist of forty-five Members thirty of whom shall be elected by direct, general secret ballot; and the Emir shall appoint the remaining fifteen Members from amongst the Ministers or any other persons. The term of service of the appointed Members in Al-Shoura Council shall expire when these Members resign their seats or are relieved from their posts.

6 Case Study: Jordan Created by British out of “Palestine Mandate” Constitutional monarchy Democratization: forward and back since 1989 Resource poor Average pp annual income $1,800 Population About 5.7 million people (most have citizenship) 70-80% urban Social cleavages: “Transjordanians” vs “Palestinians” 1.5 million officially displaced Palestinians Map: Human Rights Watch A vendor in Amann. Photo taken by tourist Jordan Klein.

7 Jordan: Structure of the Regime King (Abdullah II) Can dissolve Parliament Rule by decree Appoint PM Approve Legislation Parliament 40-person Senate (appointed) 80-person chamber of deputies (universal suffrage) Hashemite Family Prime Minister & Council of Ministers (appointed by king)

8 Ruling in Jordan: strategies Strategy #1: make & maintain key alliances Transjordanians Indigenous to East Bank Bedouin Tribes/Army PLO Strategy #2: suppress dissent Suspensions of Parliament “Temporary laws” State Security Courts No politics in mosques, educational inst’s., clubs Strategy #3: Invent tradition

9 Theories on Authoritarianism: the Rentier State Rentier State: a state that receives substantial income (“rents”) from foreign sources, and where only a few people are engaged in the generation of this wealth.

10 ME “Rentier” states, with % of government revenue or GDP from oil or nat. gas Saudi Arabia: 70-80% govt revenue; 40% GDP Kuwait: 40% GDP UAE: 30% GDP Qatar: 60% govt. revenue Iraq Iran: 40-50% govt revenue Oman: 40% GDP Libya: 70% govt. revenue

11 Why might rentier states be less democratic than others? No taxation, so fewer calls for representation More $ at state’s disposal to put into internal security Economic growth not accompanied by social impacts of conventional industrialization State as patron

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