The Dilemma of Development in the Arabian Peninsula
This book, first published in 1987 and by one of Saudi Arabia’s most distinguished academics, reviews the experience of the Arab oil producers in social, economic and political development in the key period of the Seventies and Eighties. It is broadly pessimistic about the prospects for future development and sceptical about past achievements. It argues that the ‘petro-bureaucracy’ in the Arabian Peninsula has failed to establish the basic principles of effective development because it has been mesmerised by the vast oil revenues it has attempted to administer. The book suggests that in many respects the oil revenues have obstructed serious development because they have made the Arabian economies totally dependent on one expendable resource and this has made them too vulnerable to external pressures and interests. Furthermore, the oil revenues have encouraged fantasy and wishful thinking which have skewed the development process and stimulated pseudo-development. The book makes clear that until the petro-bureaucracy adopts a realistic approach to development there can be no prospect of real development in the Arabian Peninsula.