Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



Why do some oil-rich states have stronger movements for democratization than do others? How does a high number of immigrants impact the chances of democratization? While scholars have emphasized that extracted oil rents strengthen a nation and enable it to increase spending and earn the loyalty of the armed forces, these studies have not considered the variations among oil states in terms of social movements (i.e., general strikes), civic culture, and economic crises. I argue that such variations occur as a result of distortions in social class development, in that some nations structure the working class by importing cheap labor, a condition that affects political development. In such states, social movements are very unlikely and civic culture is based on vertical networks, allowing these states flexibility in the times of economic crisis. In oil states with a native working class, the survival of the ruling elite is associated with co-optation of the lower classes. In such states, the civic culture is more developed and horizontal networks more common, making social movements more likely when economic crises occur.



Committee Chair

Ray, Leonard



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