Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor's Name

Ronald W. Cox

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mohiaddin Mesbahi

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Benjamin Smith

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jin (Julie) Zeng

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Transnational Capitalism, Transnational Capitalist Class, Middle East, Gulf Cooperation Council, Globalization

Date of Defense



In this dissertation, I argue that transnational elites within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been integrated within a Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC) economically, militarily and politically through relationships that transcend the boundaries of the nation-state. These relationships exist within the context of a global capitalist structure of accumulation that is dependent on the maintenance of a repressive state apparatus in the GCC. There have been few attempts to analyze the relationships that Middle Eastern political and economic elites have developed with global elite networks. This work fills an important gap in the scholarly literature by linking the political and economic power of the GCC elites to transnational capitalist class actors in the U.S. and Western Europe. The TCC is comprised of actors who derive their wealth and power from ownership of production or financial activities on a global scale. The embeddedness of GCC elites within the TCC came with the de-centralization of capital accumulation occurring from the 1970s through the present that has linked regional and local capitalists to the ownership activities of transnational capitalist firms. The GCC is an important case study for analyzing the structure and consequences the current phase of globalization due to its relative vi importance in providing resources and financing for transnational globalization. Therefore this project contributes to our assessment of the role played by transnational elites in the GCC and the regional and global consequences of their power struggles based in part on a theoretical framework derived from Neo-Gramscianism.





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