Anthropologist Andrew Gardner from 2011 with the provoking title The Lazy Arabs.

First a 2 page summary of the main argument of the paper basically answering the question what the chapter is about, what the author want to tell us in this chapter?A second part where you present your reactions on one or more issues dealt with in the chapter. Remember that in the reaction, I would like you to discuss issues, that is, present arguments for and against.Lazy Arabs:A Reconceptualization of the Qatari ?Rentier Economy?Andrew M. Gardner (University of Puget Sound)For the session Purposive Economies in the Neoliberal Era, Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting,Seattle, Washington, March 31, 2015Abstract:This paper examines the public sector in the petroleum-rich state of Qatar. Like many of the wealthy petroleumstates of the Arabian Peninsula, Qataris are an absolute minority in their state and a significantly larger minorityof the total workforce. The vast foreign workforce is the foundation of the private sector: almost all employedcitizens work for the state. This paper contends that the public sector in Qatar preserves a set of quasitraditionalsocial relations distinct from those of the private sector, and that as a purposive economy, publicsector employment insulates citizens from the logic of the neoliberal private sector that, paradoxically, iscentral to the state?s plans for economic diversification.I. Introductioni Between 2008 and 2010 I spent two years teaching on the women?s campus of Qatar University, thepeninsular Gulf State?s national university. Over those two years, I developed a deep affection for theUniversity, its students, and my colleagues, but that affection ought not obscure the everyday challenges offunctioning as an academic, teacher, and scholar at that particular institution. Those challenges occasionallytook comic form. For example, although Qatar is now ranked by some as the wealthiest nation in the world (inper capita terms), the supply of paper at the university was itinerant. Indeed, within the institutional ecosystemof the university, it often seemed easier to procure a new $2000 printer than a ream of paper. So mid-morningone day in 2009, with a set of in-class exercises that would be needed in a matter of hours, I hopped into myHonda Civic and headed for nearby Landmark Mall to purchase a few reams of paper with my own money.i Shopping malls are central features of the khaleeji1 cities of the Arabian Peninsula, and it is only inpassing that I can describe the symbolic role they play in indexing a cosmopolitan modernity, providing new11 The khaleej is the Arabic term for the Gulf region.forms of quasi-public space in the cosmopolitan Arab city, and fostering a form of consumer citizenship that hasproduced new subjectivities amongst both citizens and foreigners. On this particular day in 2009, I entered theair conditioned environs of Landmark Mall and encountered a constellation of coffee shops crowded withQatari men. As my fieldnotes from later that night suggest, the men were amidst conversations, reading thenewspaper, or talking on their mobile phones. Many were smoking cigarettes. In my fieldnotes, I pursued a longconversation with myself that began with the question of why, in the middle of the workday, were so manyQatari men not at work? At that hour in an American mall, I would expect to see housewives with infants and,perhaps, a fair number of retirees out for stroll. In Qatar, however, the workday shopping mall is full of ablebodiedmen in their prime. Why weren?t they working?i There?s nothing particularly adroit about my observational capacities, and indeed, I think most otherexpats in the region have made similar observations. At social gatherings amongst these expats, one frequentlyencounters a discourse concerning Arab laziness. This discourse is empirically tethered to countless observationsand experiences like the one I?ve described above. In expatriate sentiment, this discourse of Arab lassitude isoftentimes linked to the petroleum-derived wealth of Qatar and its neighboring states, and together theseobservations help illustrate how conceptions of a moral economy persevere in the contemporary era: ratherthan ?earning? their wealth, the khaleeji states benefitted from the happenstance location of vast petroleumreserves within their borders.i It is obvious that these interpretations are derivative of the larger Orientalist discourse so potentlyidentified by Edward Said. Said delineated a European discourse that contrasted its own progress with theirrational, lazy, uncivilized and crude character of the ?oriental? (Said 19XX, see also Alatas 1977). But theseperspectives on the Arab work ethic are not consigned to European or American sources; indeed, during myfieldwork in Bahrain, I interviewed numerous Indian business owners, who collectively portrayed the Bahrainiworker as indolent, spoiled, lazy and unreliable. One business owner noted to me that, ?the effort that they[Bahrainis] would normally put in is half as much as an expatriate. When you think about wanting to put aBahraini in [a job], well, they?re so lazy. They just don?t do as much.? Another suggested that, ?the basic problem2is with their attitude. They?re just not used to working ? especially hard work. They?ve taken it very easy allthese years, and that has passed on to the younger generation. That?s one of the basic reasons that you can?trely on them.? Many of my Bahraini interlocuters concurred. As one young Bahraini man noted, ?The thingspeople say about the Bahraini work ethic?well, I agree with it in general. [Bahrainis] feel like they?re entitled tomore than what they?re getting, and they feel like they shouldn?t be doing as much as they are for it. A lot ofpeople criticize Bahrainis for not performing as well as Indian workers ? You can see it firsthand. Just go intoany place. Go to Jasmis [a fast-food restaurant that has begun to employ Bahrainis] or any retail place. Seehow the Bahraini man or lady behind the counter treats you. They?ll be talking to a coworker or on the mobile,or they?ll yell to the person behind you.? Indeed, many business owners and managers, including several of theaforementioned Indian business owners I interviewed, when forced to hire Bahrainis under a quota system,would often pay them to simply stay home.i In academic scholarship, ideas about Arab laziness and its underlying causes circulate under themoniker of rentier state theory. As Beblawi defined it, the rentier economy is ?an economy substantiallysupported by the expenditure of the state whilst the state itself is supported by rent accruing fromabroad? (1987: 11). The Gulf States are envisioned as the quintessential examples of the rentier state, andscholarship on the topic, now burgeoning, identifies a host of more specific characteristics associated with themodel: the state itself plays a central role in the collection and distribution of these rents; only a small portionof society is involved in the production of rents, with the much larger majority engaged in their distribution andutilization; because the state is not dependent on taxation or the production of its citizenry, rentier statesdisplay a degree of autonomy from society itself; and rentier states produce a ?rentier mentality? amongst itscitizenry (Luciani XXXX; Beblawi 52).2 As these conclusions suggest, what at first glance appears to be aneconomic theory mutates into a more comprehensive social and psychological theory. As Beblawi noted longago,32 Niblock, in his insightful and nuanced discussion of rentier state theory, suggests that the rentier state is alsocharacterized by the fact that as rents ? in the Gulf case, oil revenues ? ?accrue directly to the state, the statebecomes the origin of all significant economic and social developments, and the determinant of how resourcesare spread around the population? (Niblock 2007: 15).i ?[S]uch an economy creates a specific mentality: a rentier mentality. The basic assumption about thei rentier mentality and that which distinguishes it from conventional economic behaviour is that iti embodies a break in the work-reward causation. Reward ? income or wealth ? is not related to worki or risk bearing, rather to chance or situation.? (Beblawi 1990: 88).i In this paper, I seek to challenge the way these ideas and observations are framed by rentier statetheory. The arguments I make here are ethnographic in nature ? they are based upon the fieldwork Iconducted in Saudi Arabia (1999), the United Arab Emirates (2002), Bahrain (2002-2003), and Qatar(2008-2010). Those various fieldwork segments included interviews with migrant workers, diasporicentrepreneurs, citizens, government officials, Qatari students, and a constellation of other individuals who don?tfit these categories. Perhaps more directly, I draw on the experiences and fieldnotes resulting from myparticipation in the institutional culture of the public sector ? at the Bahrain Training Institute (in 2002-2003)and Qatar University (2008-2010). Upon that ethnographic foundation, the overarching contention I seek tomake is straightforward: I argue that this ?rentier system? and its purported socio-psychological attributes arebest conceived as a strategic and purposeful resistance to the logic of global capitalism and its destructiveneoliberal flows.3 As such, this system indexes these states? capacity and interest in preserving particular socialand cultural configurations that we might term ?traditional? in structure. I see this as a radically differentinterpretation than rentier theory, which typically frames the rentier state as a developmental quagmire out ofcadence with the global and neoliberal norm.II.The Public Sector in the GCC StatesIn all of the Gulf States (that is: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, andOman), foreign workers comprise an absolute majority of the total workforce. In Kuwait, Qatar, and the UnitedArab Emirates, these contingents of foreign workers also make up an absolute majority of the population, withthe most extreme examples comprising Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, where approximately 90% of the43 The construction and maintenance of this alternative socio-economic space is not an indicator of Arablassitude or the region?s inability to adapt to modernity; instead, it should be understood as an active anpopulation is made up of foreign residents. Members of this foreign workforce occupy positions in all sectors ofthe economy: while the large contingents of unskilled construction workers and the cadres of domestic servantsare perhaps the most widely recognized in the scholarly literature, highly skilled and trained professionalsoccupy all sorts of other positions throughout the Gulf. The expansive footprint of the foreign workforce in thelabor markets of the GCC, however, is not evenly distributed. Indeed, if we view the Gulf labor marketsthrough the bifurcation of the public/private sector, a clear pattern emerges. In Qatar, for example, anestimated 88% of citizens are employed in the public sector; in the UAE and Kuwait, the percentages are 85%and 82%, respectively (XXXX). Indeed, throughout the Gulf, citizens primarily work directly for the state.Conversely, citizen employment in the private sector is exceedingly rare.4 This fact is particularly noteworthyconsidering the central role the private sector has assumed in the long-range plans for economic diversificationthese states have devised for the post-petroleum future.i Public sector employment serves as one of the principle entitlements of citizenship in the Gulf States.Throughout the region, employment in the public sector remains the primary mechanism for the transfer ofstate-controlled and petroleum-derived wealth to the citizenry. While this is evident in the predominantpercentages of citizen employment in the public sector, I have elsewhere argued that the centrality of publicsector employment is particularly visible in the character of the sporadic (and, in the current political climate,increasingly frequent) citizen-led protests throughout the region (Gardner 2010: 142-146). Below the sectariantrappings of the ongoing protest in Bahrain, for example, is a long series of Shia protests against theirsystematic exclusion from these public sector jobs. Similarly, the centerpiece of the Saudi King?s recent responseto uprisings in Saudi Arabia was to flood the public sector with billions of dollars in the form of salary increasesand new positions (XXXX). For decades throughout the region, protests about the lack of employment are54 While the predominant role of the public sector in citizen employment is the central analytic feature of thispaper, a caveat is necessary. As Niblock has noted in his nuanced analysis of Saudi Arabia?s private sector,the public/private economic delineation is not without its problems in the Gulf States (Niblock 2007). As henotes, the central problem with this delineation is the extent to which the state controls or otherwiseparticipates in the the various commercial and industrial enterprises one might count as ?private? in nature.Throughout the Gulf, nominally private companies and enterprises are often partially owned by the state. Healso addresses the joint enterprises between foreign companies and state organizations (Niblock 2007: 26).directed at the state itself, and arise when the state is unable to fully employ its citizenry. Citizens are mostcommonly concerned with the government?s inability to meet their perceived entitlement. As such, the legitimacyof the Gulf state is partially contingent upon its ability to provide these transfers of wealth through public sectoremployment. Although others have argued that the unequal distribution of these benefits is an insufficientfoundation for political life, the recent events in Bahrain and elsewhere suggest otherwise: this unequaldistribution is the integral feature of political life in the region.5i In the rentier economy literature, and indeed more broadly in the literature concerned with the politicaleconomy of the region, public sector employment is widely framed as an impediment to development (Beblawiand Luciani 1987; Kamrava 2005: 269; Niblock 2007; XXXX). Through the lens of this theory, the rentierarrangement produces states unresponsive to their citizenries; it quiets political opposition; it builds the lazy andaforementioned ?rentier mentality? amongst its subjects; and it fosters a climate of cronyism and corruption (seeNiblock 2007: 16 for a critical summary). Expert opinion from abroad, and more recently, the GCC Statesthemselves, frame public sector employment as a developmental problem to be addressed by appropriatereconfigurations of state policy and new training regimes for youth.6i In critically approaching this framework and, eventually, dissembling this interpretation of the Gulfeconomies, I begin by examining the gulf citizen?s preference for work in the public sector. In the interviews Iconducted with citizens, diasporic entrepreneurs and managers in Bahrain (2002-2003) and Qatar(2008-2010), the first conclusion I would like to point to is the normalized preference for employment in thepublic sector. While there are a host of specific characteristics that, arguably, draw citizens to public sectoremployment, most citizens today prefer public sector employment simply because it has emerged as the historic65 ?That benefits are unequally distributed is not relevant for political life, because it is not a sufficient incentive tocoalesce and attempt to change the political institutions. To the individual who feels his benefits are notenough, the solution of manoeuvring for personal advantage within the existing setup is always superior toseeking an alliance with others in similar conditions. In the end, there is always little or no objective ground toclaim that one should get more of the benefits, since his contribution is generally dispensable anyhow? (Lucianai1987: 74).6 Some other citations for this spot: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2010/1215_middleeastlabor.aspxhttp://www.arabianbusiness.com/at-88-qatar-tops-public-sector-jobs-rankings-340902.htmlnorm. The specific logic undergirding such choices was not always apparent ? indeed, it was often a logic thatI had to pull from the interstices and asides of the interviews. In everyday live, it?s more a matter of a set ofvocations broadly recognized as preferable and appropriate for citizens. These preferences often took slightlymore explicit form in rationales concerning service to the nation and an obligation to fellow citizens.7Underpinning this normative preference for public sector employment, however, are a variety of morecompelling and practical justifications for this preference. As many citizen-interlocuters noted, employment in thepublic sector is laden with significant financial benefits. Throughout the Gulf, starting salaries are high,retirement benefits are substantial, and most public sector jobs come with the availability of low-interest loansfor houses and cars, as well as scholarships for higher education. Together, these benefits are interwoven withthe pathways of khaleeji life ? they are significant milestones in the lives of contemporary khaleeji citizens,often associated with the appropriate time to marry or begin having children. In other words, these benefits,beyond their material existence, are central features in the cadence with the lifeways of contemporarykhaleejis.Beyond the material benefits of the public sector workplace, a constellation of other factors meritattention. As noted earlier, all six of the Gulf States host extremely large contingents of foreign workers, andover the many decades of their presence, Arabic has been increasingly decentered by English and Hindi/Urdu.Citizens, often an extreme minority in their own cities, play host to a constellation of global transmigratory flowsthat often operate in languages in which they have little skill. This is particularly true of the private sector: at itsupper echelons, it operates primarily in English; at its lower echelons, it operates in dozens of different SouthAsian and African languages. For citizens, then, the ability to find employment where Arabic is the primary andofficial language consigns them to a much smaller array of choices, most of which are in the public sector.There is also the issue of timings in the workplace. Public sector jobs throughout the region typicallybegin between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM, and often conclude by the early afternoon. At my places ofemployment in the region, many locals would depart sometime around 1:00 in the afternoon. In the private77 I could talk more about the mudir syndrome and the idea of service to the country here.sector, however, businesses are open and operating through the late afternoon. As my citizen-interlocutersnoted, this time in the afternoon is highly valuable ? it is time for a significant rest and time for a communalmeal with the family. Indeed, private sector entrepreneurs in Bahrain noted that amidst the state-sponsoredBahrainization schemes that forced them to hire citizens, these hours were one of the primary points ofnegotiation for many of their prospective citizen-employees. In the rhythm of khaleeji days, these hours of restare integral to the social hours that stretch late into the night ? times when families gather or visit one another,when young men take to their Toyota Land Cruisers and roam the city, or when locals gather at the shoppingmalls or other public spaces in the city. In the hours approaching midnight, citizens again seem to appropriatethe streets and public spaces of the city, and the fact that they are often an extraordinary minority is maskeduntil the sun rises the next day.Finally, throughout the Gulf States women are an increasingly prominent feature of the workforce. TheGulf States are often portrayed as extremely conservative countries, but in reality they are quite diverse, andelements of conservativeness and liberalism coexist within this demographic heterogeneity. While anexploration of this diversity is beyond the scope of this paper, some ? but certainly not all ? local womenmaintain a preference for a gender segregated workplace. These segregated workplaces are typicallyimpossible in the private sector ? but many state ministries, educational facilities, and other institutions in thepublic sector maintain gender segregated workplaces to accommodate the norms expressed by significantportions of the indigenous population.i The outline of the argument I wish to make should be clear here. In addition to the material benefits ofpublic sector employment, there are compelling social and cultural reasons for citizens? preference for publicsector work. Work in the public sector generally aligns the individual with the normative milestones of acontemporary khaleeji life; amidst a sea of foreigners, it provides a homogeneous indigenous workspace; andfinally, the daily schedule of public sector employment is aligned to the day-to-day social demands ofcontemporary khaleeji life. Understanding the cultural justifications for this preferance is foundational to theargument I seek to make ? that the public sector, as a bastion for citizens, as a place that allows them to8maintain indigenous social relations, should be understood as more than simply a failure to adapt to modernity.It insulates citizens from the logic of the neoliberal system they host, and preserves a social system indigenousto the region. As such, it is a positive force in its own right.III. Reconceptualizing Leisure: Tribalism, Wasta and the Gulf Statei In the previous section I described the public sector, and went some distance toward describing thesocial and cultural underpinnings of its preference amongst citizens. While I recognize that there are strongfinancial reasons for the individual khaleeji citizen?s preference for work in the public sector, I sought to chart aseries of social and cultural factors that underpin this preference. In this section I intend to extend that argument.I contend that this public sector operates by a fundamentally different logic than the private sector. To return tothe scenario with which I began this paper, understanding that logic helps explain why the shopping malls ofDoha, for example, are full of men in the middle of the workday. Once that logic is explained, the activities andbehaviors often perceived as leisure and/or laziness can be seen in a different light ? as the essentialcomponents in the everyday workings of this alternative and purposive system.8i The core of the argument I wish to present rests on a description of wasta. Wasta is the Arabic word forsomething akin to social capital ? essentially, it is the word for one?s social networks and the benefitspotentially accruable from those networks. Wasta comes in to play in the everyday activities of life in the Gulf? gaining admission to university, moving up the list for state-funded housing loans, seeking the dismissal of atraffic ticket, or, perhaps most importantly, obtaining employment in the public sector ? these are the venuesand junctures at which wasta comes into play. An individual?s wasta is grounded in, but not limited to, one?sfamily. In the Gulf States, ?family? covers a broad spectrum of consanguineal relations, including the nuclearfamily, but, in reflection of the region?s social history, also including what we might call the clan and tribe. Whilean exploration of the perseverance (or, perhaps more accurately, the reemergence) of the tribe as a98 While I have made this argument elsewhere, I seek to extend it here (see Gardner 2010: XX-XXX).meaningful form of affiliation in the region is beyond the scope of this paper, but it will suffice here to say thattribal relations remain a prominent feature of the social topology of the region, and in Qatar are actually beingstrengthened with the encouragement of the state. These consanguineous relations provide a ready foundationfor one?s wasta ? one can expect family members and tribal relations to assist at the various juncturesdescribed above.9Because these relations play such an instrumental role in accessing the resources of the state and, moregenerally, in navigating the various junctures of a modern khaleeji life, the maintenance and extension of theserelationships is a primary ? and rational ? activity for members of khaleeji societies. Time with the family in theafternoon; or evenings at the majlis with male brothers, cousins, tribesmen, and friends; the seemingly idle timespent at coffee shops or restaurants with other khaleejis; attendance at weddings, funerals, tribal gatheringsand other social events; activities that seem non-productive to casual observers, evidence of laziness tooutsiders, or the driving forces behind absenteeism to expatriate business owners ? these are the socially vitalactivities by which members of khaleeji society build and maintain the social capital that is essential toobtaining positions in the public sector and, more precisely, accessing state-controlled wealth. What othersmistake for leisure ? talking over coffee, socializing, networking, time spent with family ? should be understoodfor its centrality in the ongoing function of this system.i One of the key features of this system is the predominance of ascribed status in its calculus. Amidstlegions of foreigners ? many of whom, broadly speaking, are better trained, less expensive and morecompetitive in the job market than their citizen-counterparts ? this system operates by a logic that is largelyinaccessible to foreigners. One?s ascribed status, and particularly one?s family, represents the central feature ofan individual?s social capital. And the events and locations at which one enhances or maintains that socialcapital are typically closed to foreigners: the majlis, family gatherings, tribe celebrations, weddings, familygatherings ? the central venues for building and maintaining wasta are largely endogamous to the citizenry.This is not to suggest that it is an egalitarian system: members of khaleeji societies are positioned unequally; in109 A paramount feature of the social landscape. Can I talk about Brhain and the ascribed role of sect?fact, much of the current strife in Bahrain can be directly attributed to the inequality within this system. But thenoteworthy attribute is that this system omits the participation of foreigners.i To be clear, then, I mean to challenge the sentiments in the title of this paper. This system, centeredupon public sector employment and operating by a logic that largely favors citizens over the legion offoreigners at work in the region, can be understood as a sophisticated form of resistance to the global system;the ?work? integral to the logic of this alternative system, while often imperceptible to foreigners, is a complexand multifaceted aspect of khaleeji life. What is often mistaken for leisure, lassitude, or laziness are activitiescentral to the accumulation of the social capital instrumental in obtaining positions in the public sector. That isnot to say that it is a pure system ? increasingly, the meritocratic logic of the global labor market has leakedinto the khaleeji public sector, and we see a double calculus at work: one?s connections via wasta must beaccompanied by the appropriate degree or training for a particular position. But the persevering the role ofascribed status and wasta, as a form of social capital, are key to understanding how this alternative systemoperates.IV. Conceptualizing the Public Sector: A Purposive System?In most scholarship on the topic, the public sectors of the Gulf States are framed as the product of arentier system and, more precisely, as a significant impediment to the modernity of governance and economicdevelopment in the region. I have suggested an alternative framework for understanding the public sector. Inmy analysis, the public sector comprises a strategic and active economic arena that allows citizens and state topreserve a set of cultural practices and social relations that are historically interwoven with the fabric of theireveryday lives. I contended that the social and cultural aspects of employment in the public sector are asignificant factor in citizen preference, and extending that argument, I contended that one can delineate adistinct logic to this arena of economic relations.11i In Gibson-Graham?s now-famous treatise The End of Capitalism (as we know it), the authors attempt to?clear a discursive space for the emergence and development of hitherto suppressed discourses of economicdiversity, in the hope of contributing to an anticapitalist politics of economic invention? (Gibson-Graham 19XX:xi). Continuing, they note that, ?noncapitalist forms of economy often present themselves as a homogeneousinsufficiency rather than as positive and differentiated others? (Gibson-Graham 1996: 7). Gibson-Grahamsuggest that behind capitalism?s monolithic and homogeneous facade is a myriad of economic practices andforms that, with a vocabulary produced under the capitalist discourse, we are poorly positioned to apprehend.In line with this idea, the scale of the public sector in the Gulf States is framed in a very critical light by bothoutsiders and by many of the states themselves. In a sense, this charts the difficulty that Gibson-Graham noteof thinking outside capitalism, for the measuring stick by which economies and activities of states are typicallyevaluated is blind to the important social and cultural functions I?ve described here. This is not just a scholarlyissue ? the push to meet the demands of the neoliberal norm has very material effect on the state and itscitizenry.i But Gibson-Graham?s intent focus on the discourse of capitalism makes it difficult to frame the empiricalexpansion of a neoliberal ideology of governance and the neoliberal practices that compel states ? evenwealthy states like those in Arabia ? to forsake the public sector for the mission of competitiveness. Thisbroadening of the neoliberal geography is a process that is, perhaps, particularly apparent to anthropologists,considering the diversity of locations in which we work (e.g Rudnyckyj 2010). Gibson-Graham?s treatise is alsosomewhat ambivalent to the role of the state. As should be clear, the state in Arabia is not merely ahandmaiden to neoliberal governance, nor the executive committee of a transnational bourgeoisie. Rather,these states occupy an ambivalent position that seeks to strategically synthesize the drive for economicdiversification and neoliberal competitiveness with the interests of its citizenry and the precarious maintenanceof its own political legitimacy. This strategically fraught positionality provides an ideal entry point to three of thequestions that bind the papers in our session together:12? How is the public sector, as an alternative economic space, conceptualized by the citizen-participantsthat constitute it?And:? What sort of subjectivities does this public sector produce?These two question can be answered together. Employment in the public sector is conceptualized as anentitlement of citizenship. Ethnographic work on the topic suggests that this employment has strong nationalisticand managerial connotations ? the role of citizens, as manifested in the public sector, is to collectively manageand guide development and modernization in the region. The public sector produces subjectivities that alignthe everyday activities of citizens with the development and modernization paradigm promoted by the state.Indeed, while democratic participation in the state is largely absent in the region, public sector employmentprovides a ready avenue for participation and a modicum of control over the state through direct participationin its everyday operations. The alternative economic logic of this system and, indeed, its distinctiveness fromthe private sector is downplayed; the public sector is not conceptualized by its constituents as a distincteconomic sphere.? How is this economic assemblage related to capitalist/neoliberal assemblages?Throughout the GCC, long-term plans are, for obvious reasons, fixated on economic diversification. In thatlogic, the states are actively seeking to expand neoliberal flows. This strategy takes different forms in differentGCC states: in Bahrain, the emphasis is on capturing global financial flows; in Dubai, the emphasis is onconsumption and the multiform economy of the region?s cosmopolitan hub; in Qatar, the focus is on a?knowledge-based economy? and, more recently, upon the Meeting, Inc

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