Oman: Political Development in a Changing World

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Praeger, 1998 M01 1 - 248 pages

The Sultanate of Oman overlooks one of the most strategic waterways in the Middle East: the Strait of Hormuz. Sharing the guardianship of the Strait with Iran, Oman's position is of key importance to the security of the entire Gulf, which holds a large portion of the world's oil resources. In a 1970 palace coup, Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa'id overthrew the repressive and reclusive rule of his father and embarked on a program of modernization. Oman became one of the success stories of the developing world, instituting a modern educational system, creating a modern infrastructure, becoming an oil exporter, and constucting an elaborate social welfare system.

Today the country faces a host of challenges. Oman cannot defend itself from hostile neighbors without assistance. Restructuring Omani society and the economy present even greater difficulties. Moreover, change must occur at a time when Islamic movements pose a significant political threat, and oil income is not sufficient to meet the country's social and economic needs. Professor Riphenburg has provided a survey that will be invaluable to all students and researchers of the modern Middle East.

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The Legacy of History
Political Culture Civil Society
Political Development and the Challenge

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About the author (1998)

CAROL J. RIPHENBURG is Associate Professor of Political Science at the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL. /e She has written and lectured extensively on the role of women in Middle Eastern and African politics and society.

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