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Diversified but Marginal: The GCC Private Sector as an Economic and Political Force

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Speaker(s): Dr Steffen Hertog
Chair: Professor Toby Dodge

Recorded on 5 March 2014 in 1.04, New Academic Building.

Gulf private sectors contribute the majority of national capital formation and employment, and have diversified into a wide range of manufacturing and service activities. National development strategies rely on private business as a primary driver of growth and development. At the same time, however, business contributes little to economic policy-making and is isolated in national politics, regularly failing to be represented in elected bodies. This talk will explain this passive and isolated role of business by looking at how, despite all diversification, it remains structurally dependent on state spending and subsidies, and how its interests are at odds with those of GCC citizens at large.

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