What’s So Special about the Arabian Peninsula? A Reply to Groh and Rothschild


Ross, Michael L. 2012. “What’s So Special about the Arabian Peninsula? A Reply to Groh and Rothschild.” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7 (1): 89–103. doi:10.1561/100.00012004.

Author: Michael L. Ross


My 2008 article suggested that oil wealth, but not Islam, has impeded progress towards gender equality in the Middle East. Groh and Rothschild re-examine one part of my study, which reported a statistical correlation between oil rents and female labor force participation; they argue that the ‘‘deep cultural history’’ of the Arabian Peninsula offers a better explanation for the observed correlations. In this brief reply, I note that they do not accurately describe my conclusions and analysis; that other evidence in the article does not support their argument; and that they have not identified what makes the Arabian Peninsula so different from the rest of the Middle East — apart from its extraordinary oil wealth.

Keywords: women in politics, comparative politics, religion and politics

Topics: Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Multi-National Corporations, Political Participation, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2012

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