Capitalism Without Democracy: The Case of Dubai




Fuller, Clay R.

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The small Persian Gulf Emirate of Dubai has moved from pre-industrial to industrial to quasi-post-industrial service economy status in less than half of a century. Dubai stands as a luminous Arab version of Western capitalism and now serves as a model for diversification, development, and investment to other rentier states in the region and beyond. The Dubai macroeconomic model has accomplished and far exceeded all of its stated goals. As one of the few Arab economic success stories of the twentieth century, the subject of how Dubai reached this point, the sustainability of its model, and the implications its success may have on other actors has received little academic scrutiny. Very few expect Dubai's model to disappear any time soon. This thesis explores the relationship between capitalism and democracy and then describes the basic structure and origins of 'Dubai Inc.', as it is now famously called, with focus on two key components of its macroeconomic policy; special economic zones (SEZs) and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). Is there a link between democracy and capitalism? If not, is undemocratic capitalism dangerous or preferable?



Capitalism, Democracy, United Arab Emirates, Dubai


Fuller, C. R. (2010). <i>Capitalism without democracy: The case of Dubai</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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