This study investigates the extent to which neoliberalism could be the cornerstone for economic reform and diversification in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It seeks to determine the most important effects of neoliberalism as well as its social and economic costs, starting from the premise that economics is by and large a social science. The study is aimed at exploring the possibilities of crafting an economic doctrine suited to the conditions of these countries and capable of satisfying their current and future needs with the aim of fostering sustained development and stability on a sound basis. In its quest for answers, it uses a descriptive, critical and interpretive methodology in an analytical framework that combines the views of prominent economists and social scientists while paying special attention to the scientific and critical views of Arab Gulf thinkers and their analysts. The study looks at what it called “the five major defects” of neoliberalism: an unfair class system; lack of social solidarity; the debt trap; communal protests; and marketization and commoditization. Five warnings were made to the citizens of the Gulf States: to avoid impoverishment; to be wary of debt; to avoid ventures; to be wary of predators; and to be wary of intruders. The study tackled the twin issues of opting for limited liberalism and the need for reform to allow the economy breathing space.

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