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Doctoral StudentWorld Politics
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Justin studies Sunni-Shi'i conflict and political mobilization in the rentier societies of the Arab Gulf, in particular in Bahrain. In 2009, he carried out the first-ever mass political survey of Bahraini citizens. Based on this original data, his dissertation investigates the long-held argument that in the rent-based states of the Arab Gulf would-be political opponents can and are be bought off with personal economic benefits.
He argues -- and using individual-level data from Bahrain and Iraq shows -- that in the ethnically-divided states of the Arab Gulf, ethno-religious identity offers a viable basis for political coordination that renders ineffective the mechanisms of political buy-off presumed available to these regimes qua rentier states, namely liberal government-sector employment and freedom from taxation. He demonstrates that, in determining citizens' normative political opinions toward their government and the political actions they take in support of or opposition to it, variation in personal economy offers little systematic explanatory power compared to the considerable effects of ethnic membership and orientation.
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