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Durham e-Theses
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Vision2020 and the Private Sector:
An Analysis of Late Rentier Development Strategy in Oman

AL-SAID, AL,KHATTAB,GHALIB,KHALID (2019) Vision2020 and the Private Sector:
An Analysis of Late Rentier Development Strategy in Oman.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis assesses the extent to which Oman’s economic development strategy (Oman Vision 2020), launched in 1995, has achieved its objectives of making the private sector the engine of economic development. The thesis works within the neo-liberal paradigm, tempered by the human development approach, for understanding economic development, assuming the private sector is the best agency for allocating resources to stimulate economic growth. The thesis argues that prior to 1995, Omani economic development since 1970 had progressed under a State-led development model, built on oil rents, overlaid upon traditional patrimonial socio-political structures which evolved into a neo-patrimonial form of government. In the late rentier condition, however, as Oman sought to both adapt to integrate into the liberal global economy and secure stability from fluctuating oil revenues, Vision2020 represented an effort to move away from the State-led oil-dependent model. However, the thesis shows that trying to empower the private sector to assume the burden of being the engine for economic growth, while maintaining the neo-patrimonial political structures, have proved irreconcilable goals. A study of the processes of policy-making and implementation of Vision2020 after 1995, and of the subsequent performance and capacities of the private sector, demonstrate that neo-patrimonial politics have undermined the liberal substance of Vision 2020 and instead reproduced the flaws and contradictions of State-led development. This invites the question as to whether the private sector can ever assume the mantle of responsibility for economic development in Oman without there first being substantive political reform. This thesis thus challenges arguments that late rentierism might be a sufficient response to globalization on the part of the oil-monarchies and supports literatures that argue for simultaneous or prioritized liberal political reform.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Apr 2019 13:00

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