Development and Stability in the Middle East: An exploration of the dynamics of, and linkages between, development policy and stability, with special reference to the Yemens
This study is an exploration of the inter-linked themes of development and development policy on the one hand, and regime stability on the other, with special reference to the Middle East and illustrated in particular by case studies of the Yemens. It aims to demonstrate that any fruitful inquiry into the dynamics of these themes and their interaction must be embedded in an approach to the study of comparative politics which is not beholden to any one of the established theoretical schools, but rather combines elements and insights from each. Nevertheless, certain trends and themes do emerge from the evidence, and an awareness of these is useful in interpreting further case studies, as long as the differentiating effects of culture and region-specific factors are taken into account. It is suggested that for the case of the Middle East, the mosaic model may in some cases be more appropriate than the modernisation one, as a description (and prediction) of a society's evolution. The same approach is adopted also for the study of the dynamics of stability. From this exercise results a list of usually valid predictors which could usefully guide work on further case studies of the stability/instability theme. A 'framework for analysis' is then constructed which is intended as a guide for the study of how a regime's development policy may affect regime stability, and how development policy itself may be affected by the survival-imperative and the search for stability. It is argued that regime stability rests on three pillars: control, acquiescence, and support - the latter feeding mainly on legitimacy. The factor of nation-building and national integration, is both a central aim of development policy and a key contributor to the legitimacy and acquiescence pillars. The other immediate subjects of 'developmental' policy decisions, as featuring in the suggested framework for analysis, can all in turn potentially enhance the chances of regime survival and stability. Confirmation for the above analysis is found in the account and analysis of development, development administration, aid and economic liberalisation in the Middle East. It is shown how the state in the Middle East has generally come to occupy a very powerful central role, even though it remained, on the whole, controlled by narrowly-based regimes. Oil wealth helped bring about a prevalence of the rentier phenomenon in state and economy, spreading also to a considerable extent to the non-oil states. Aid can in some respects be considered a form of rent as well. Rentier dynamics and generally the linkages between the aim of survival and development policy, are found to be key explanatory factors for many of the characteristics and problems of the region's development and development administration. Case studies of North Yemen, South Yemen, and the unified Yemen Republic illustrate the above analysis, serving as a test of some of the conclusions reached.
University of Exeter
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