Economics and politics - comment and analysis

Saudi Arabia’s economy: a “Chinese Road” to Arab Capitalism? Part II

(Erster Teil und dessen deutsche Übersetzung) However promising they may be, aggregate indicators mask the same challenge as faced elsewhere in the region of productively employing a growing young labour force and reducing unemployment rates, which are stuck above 10% but which official forecasts’ wishful thinking puts at only 5%.  This significant challenge is further complicated by the extraordinary relianc…


(Erster Teil und dessen deutsche Übersetzung)

However promising they may be, aggregate indicators mask the same challenge as faced elsewhere in the region of productively employing a growing young labour force and reducing unemployment rates, which are stuck above 10% but which official forecasts’ wishful thinking puts at only 5%.  This significant challenge is further complicated by the extraordinary reliance of the Arab Gulf economies in general, and Saudi Arabia especially, on a complex system of what Adam Hanieh has referred to as the “spatial structuring of class”, a process of class formation that links the development of social relations across different spaces in the region (in: Lineages of Revolt, Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2013, p 126.). This has entailed a highly regulated import of mainly low paid, migrant Asian (and Arab) workers, who have to work and to live in miserable conditions. They provide the bulk of the labour that Arab Gulf capital needs in order to expand and deepen and reproduce the ruling elite, generation after generation, one capitalist strata upon the other, through a system—kafala— that binds workers to Saudi employers  as their guarantors and allows for extreme forms of exploitation. Recently, on top of the miserable conditions downwar…
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