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Title

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE ANALYTICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKS OF OIL STUDIES AND POLITICS

Writers

MIRTORABI SAEID

Pages

 Start Page 161 | End Page 186

Abstract

 This paper aims to show that, during the past four decades, the literature on RENTIER STATE, contrary to popular opinion, has not been consistent, whether in content or in methodology. Based on their methodological framework, the studies have been classified into two distinct types. The first generation of studies emerged in 1970s, but their failure at explaining the situation of oil-rich countries and clarifying the consequences of fall in oil incomes sever criticisms. The criticisms in connection with THE FIRST WAVE of the studies provided a ground to revise the methodology, and the way of conceptualizing foreign rents and their assessments. This resulted, particularly since 1990s, in the second wave of studies a wave that could be considered as REVISIONISM. This approach brought new variables into the studies. It paid more attention to the historical background of oil-rich countries and the historical periods when oil incomes raised (with respect to the various stages of formation of the government and the regime in power). It focused on the interrelationship between oil rent and social and political condition of these countries, avoiding structural look to the oil rents. Some of the supporters of the new approach proposed new criteria for evaluation of oil incomes. This approach offered the possibility of more complex analyses, especially in the areas of political stability and democratic transition in the oil-rich countries, analyses that better explain different experiences of the oil-dependant states.

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