The Evolution of State Capacity in the Gulf Region
For a long period of time, the Gulf States’ revenues were external resource rents from oil exports rather than being acquired through traditional taxation. Consequently, the Gulf States skipped a traditionally pivotal step in the state formation process, namely, building a capable bureaucracy that is able to penetrate the Gulf societies. However, the drop of oil prices in 2014, coupled with the diminished dependence of the U.S. on the Gulf oil due to the development of the production of shale oil, have led the Gulf States to consider taxation, rolling back subsidies and imposing fees on the employment of migrant workers. All these measures required the creation of professional and skilled bureaucracy to carry out them; a mission the Gulf States achieved in a short period of time. Thus when the outbreak of Covid-19 occurred, the Gulf States were ready to deal with it effectively.