chapter  1
21 Pages

A Decade of Development: Mixed Progress and A Widening Gap

ByJ.S. Birks, C.A. Sinclair

The economic progress of the Arabian peninsular states and Libya could hardly have been a more complete transformation of these desert sheikhdoms and states. In short, the future decade in the Arab world appears at best one of mixed prospects; at worst, the social and political pressures of growth in the capital-rich, combined with economic stagnation and population growth in the capital-poor, mean that the existing international order of the region could be threatened by crisis. The subsequent inability of governments to effect economic development has meant that progress has been slow. Since that time, because of the widening gap between extremes of income, this division, roughly paralleled by ‘oil-exporting’ and ‘non-oil-exporting’ countries, has become of increasing significance. The impact of the pattern and trends of population growth in the Arab world upon the widening gap between rich and poor states is twofold.