Rethinking the Rentier states and democracy; comparative study of Saudi Arabia and Norway

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.A in Ruhr Bochum University

2 international relations, Law and Political Science, Allameh Tabatab'i University


Some researchers argue that oil incomes hinder democracy in oil-rich countries. Others believe that there is no correlation between oil and democracy. In this article, the author tries to compare the situation of democracy in two oil-rich countries(Saudi-Arabia and Norway). My main question, here, is that why the discovery of oil did not destroy democracy in Norway? I will argue that since the political system and political culture were democratic before the discovery of oil, it did not result in destroying the democracy in Norway. In contrast to Norway, neither political system nor political culture was not democratic in middle eastern countries like Saudia-Arabia. The state used the incomes earned through oil exports to suppress people, hence. A country like Norway was democratic before the extraction of oil and maintained its democracy after the discovery.


Volume 3, Issue 1
June 2022
Pages 85-106
  • Receive Date: 24 February 2021
  • Revise Date: 26 October 2021
  • Accept Date: 09 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 09 May 2022