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What is Rentier State

Handbook of Research on Higher Education in the MENA Region: Policy and Practice
In rentier state theory, the state derives most of its revenue from renting resources (such as oil) to foreign powers.
Published in Chapter:
Linking Education to Creating a Knowledge Society: Qatar's Investment in the Education Sector
Alan S. Weber (Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6198-1.ch004
Due to the continued high price of oil and gas, the oil-rich State of Qatar has used its large budget surpluses in the last decade to finance human capacity development, including research, higher education, and the reshaping of its K-12 educational system. This chapter argues that the recent substantial educational reforms in the State of Qatar are closely intertwined with planned future economic transformation (diversification). Although Qatar possesses the world's third largest reserves of natural gas, this resource is ultimately finite and over-reliance on one major economic driver (hydrocarbons) for the bulk of GDP creates boom and bust cycles that have shaped Gulf politics and social development since the 1970s. This chapter examines Qatar's educational efforts to build a knowledge economy to transition away from a resource-rich export-based hydrocarbon economy towards economic activities linked to patents, research, trademarked technologies, skills, and knowledge products.
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