Publications Policy Papers
Anaïs ÖZYAVUZ, Dorothée SCHMID

Persistence and Evolutions of the Rentier State Model in Gulf Countries Notes de l'Ifri, April 2015

A general economic model of understanding Middle Eastern states was elaborated by political scientists around the 1980’s, based on the concept of rent as a factor of wealth around which the economic model as much as the governance of energy-rich countries was re-organized. The particular case of GCC’s countries as rentier state has been at the cornerstone of this concept since they own the most important share of energy resources in the world.


After four decades of the concept’s circulation, the historicity of the rentier state theory clearly requires discussion. This paper will first deal with the emergence of the concept of rent in Gulf countries, and will study in which extend GCC member states have undertaken reforms and changes for depending less on oil-wealth and for reaching a more diversified economy. Despite their efforts and achievements – both endogenous as exogenous factors - are still inhibiting the development processes in each country.

The reforms in question are important not only for the concerned countries but also for the development and especially the stability of the Middle-East area. This last concern is definitely the main issue of last months for the area, being in the chaos since the emergence of a new regional player, the terrorist group Daesh.


Persistence and Evolutions of the Rentier State Model in Gulf Countries
Daesh Economic development Oil rent Gulf countries Middle East