Dubai, the UAE, and the Gulf States: Autocracy in Question

Wed April 20th 2011, 10:30am
Event Sponsor
Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall
(424 Santa Teresa, Stanford)

Abstract: As one of the world's few surviving traditional monarchies and now the Arab world's second largest economy, the United Arab Emirates has continued to confound its critics.  How can we best understand the remarkable economic development trajectories of its two wealthiest constituent emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai?  How have its rulers and their dynasties managed to circumvent pressures for reform, especially during this tumultuous time of rapid change in the region?  And what roles have state formation, social contracts, personalities, and repression played in this story? 

Christopher Davidson is reader in political science at Durham University, England's third oldest university.  Previously he was an assistant professor at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates and a visiting associate professor at Kyoto University in Japan.  He holds a BA in History from King's College, Cambridge University, and M.Litt and PhD degrees from St. Andrews University in Scotland.  He is the author of four single authored books, the last three having been published by Columbia University Press.  These include Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success (2008) and Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond (2009).  His most recent work has focused on the increasing interdependency between the economies of the Gulf states and those of industrialized Pacific Asia.

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