The downhill slide in the global price of crude oil, which started mid-2014, had major repercussions across the Middle East for net oil exporters, as well as importers closely connected to the oil-producing countries from the Gulf. Following the Arab uprisings of 2010 and 2011, the oil price decline represented a second major shock for the region in the early twenty-first century – one that has continued to impose constraints, but also provided opportunities. Inspired by rentierism, the contributors present original studies on Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The studies reveal a large diversity of country-specific policy adjustment strategies: from the migrant workers in the Arab Gulf, who lost out in the post-2014 period but were incapable of repelling burdensome adjustment policies, to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, who have never been able to fulfil the expectation that they could benefit from the 2014 oil price decline. With timely contributions on the COVID-19-induced oil price crash in 2020, this collection signifies that rentierism still prevails with regard to both empirical dynamics in the Middle East and academic discussions on its political economy.
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