GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Royal Makrama as a complimentary tool to Rent distribution in the Gulf Oil Monarchies
Paper Proposal Text :
Ruling families of the Gulf monarchies have an unrestricted control of oil revenues and other state resources. This has resulted on the one hand in the distinct intertwining of state and the ruling families in a relation of indistinguishable organic unity.On the other hand, it provided thee ruling family with high levels of autonomy from any domestic actors. An immediate consequence of ruling families/states autonomy is their limitless power to change public policies, to reverse them, to select their allies, and to change requirements of political allegiances. Further, its autonomy has enabled the ruling family/state to create new social collectives and/or to dismantle and reassemble existing ones.
Each of royal families controls state administrative, judicial, repressive, infrastructural and distributive capacities enables them to detail manage the pace of social , political and economic change in their societies as well as its substances and direction. Consequently, they have been able to take any range of of actions that it takes without institutionalised negotiation with groups in their societies. They have also been able to administer, regulate and effectively exercise its authority and achieve without fear of serious domestic resistance.
This paper discusses makramas,as an informal part of distributive capacity of the state in the hands of the monarch of each of the Gulf states.
Gulf rulers have preserved Makramas, as a pragmatic tool for both rents circulation and for making loyalty to the royal family a social as well as a political imperative: Royal makramas are extended to, individuals, groups and collectives. Individuals may solicit makramason their own behalf or through the intervention of appropriate ethnic/tribal notables.
Makramas cover a variety of material and non-material benefits. Material ones include allocations of plots of land, employment, promotion, medical treatment abroad, a scholarship, as well as cash. Makramas however need notto be strictly material. Non-material makramas, include grants of citizenship to foreign subjects, licenses to become a kafeel for foreign workers; exemption from certain obligations; providing short-cuts through the bureaucratic mills of the government; a remission of punishment or penalty issued by courts; and so on. Occasionally, mostly in conjunction with religious festivities, the monarch will issue a makrama in the form of an amnesty to prisoners. Further, official media refer to every new project whether it a huge infra structural project or a short royal inspection visit to a school, as aroyal makrama.

Further, I contend, that Makramasprovide the ruling families in the Gulf with informal tools for controlling consequences of social, political and economic changes in their countries. While, the state machine is the main engine for circulation and/or allocation of resources vis--vis various economic sectors and social groups, Makramas enable ruling families of fine-tuning the ramification of those circulations and allocations. As they are unpredictable, makramas, keep everyone in a state of hopeful anticipation. Citizens, whether rich or poor, become more pre-occupied with attempts to access the rent circuit through royal Makramasrather than solely relying on productive efficiency. Makramas, in other words , reinstate the relation of dependency of citizens on the state, as taken over by the ruling family. Citizens become unlikely to endanger their economicor political wellbeing by seriouslycontesting the status quo.