Beyond rentierism: the United Arab Emirates’ exceptionalism in a turbulent region

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The Arab-Muslim world is often described negatively as undemocratic, intolerant and economically backward. Rare positive commentary about the region is usually reserved for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states based on the belief that their status as rentier states coupled with immense energy resources has enabled them to escape the failures of the larger region. However, this research posits a United Arab Emirates (UAE) exceptionalism attributed to its internalization of key political, economic and social norms, and the promotion of such norms as a norm entrepreneur. The attractiveness of the UAE’s accomplishments in the region has made it worthy of emulation and, thus, a soft power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-536
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary Arab Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2017


  • Dutch disease
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • constructivism
  • diversification
  • exceptionalism
  • norm cycle
  • norm entrepreneur
  • philanthropy
  • rentierism
  • resource curse
  • soft power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond rentierism: the United Arab Emirates’ exceptionalism in a turbulent region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this