Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Rethinking the Rentier State: My Bahrain Book Finally Published
The book is titled Group Conflict and Political Mobilization in Bahrain and the Arab Gulf: Rethinking the Rentier State. Not such a catchy title, right? Despite that, it is being published in the Indiana University Press Series in Middle East Studies, and we've already reached an agreement with another publisher for an Arabic translation. But I don't have a clear sense yet how long the latter will take.
The book draws upon my doctoral fieldwork in Bahrain, including the results of my mass political survey administered in 2009. But the revision schedule was such as to allow historical analysis up through the 2014 parliamentary elections. So it's actually quite current.
Analytically, the book attempts to understand the conditions under which the presumed "rentier bargain" -- rent-funded economic benefits for citizens in return for political loyalty or apathy for the state -- fails to operate, or operates among some citizens and not others. In doing so, it examines the political motivations of ordinary Gulf (mostly Bahraini) citizens as well as specific strategies of rule adopted by Gulf states.
Hopefully people will find it interesting.
Posted by Justin Gengler at 12:39 PM