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The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival

Christopher M. Davidson
The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival
ISBN: 978-1-58826-274-5
ISBN: 978-1-58826-964-5
2005/333 pages/LC: 2004020540
The Middle East in the International System

"Davidson succinctly provides a most useful review and analysis of the UAE's overall history, the status of its social, political, and economic development, and future prospects."—Choice

"A welcome contribution to the field and a timely addition to the present debate.... Davidson's work has added to the required knowledge at a critical period of time."—Christian Koch, Middle East Journal

"An admirable survey of the lights and shades of the Emirates.” —Peter Clark, Asian Affairs


The United Arab Emirates has remained a mainstay of stability in an increasingly volatile Middle East, managing to maintain a traditional polity despite the impact of rapid modernization and globalization. This in-depth study explores the many contradictions that characterize the UAE and its position within the international system.

Davidson first provides a detailed historical background, tracing the recent history of the lower Gulf region, the British involvement in the area, and the establishment of the federation of emirates. He then turns his attention to the UAE's seemingly anachronistic political structure and its socioeconomic development. His astute analysis highlights the UAE's achievementsas well as the problems that have persistently undermined its development objectives.


Christopher M. Davidson is lecturer in Middle Eastern politics at Durham University.


  • Introduction.
  • The Historical Background.
  • The Survival of Monarchy: An Overview.
  • Socioeconomic Development and the Diversification Effort.
  • Domestic Pathologies and the Political Process.
  • Globalization and the Prospects for Civil Society.
  • Conclusion.