This paper investigates the status of social science in the universities of the Gulf states. It tries to identify what is taught and to suggest why. It examines the positives, which include the construction of buildings, the effort to institute diversity in hiring faculty, and the institution of faculty exchange programmes. The negatives include state interference in curricula, the failure to establish courses in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of the social sciences, rote learning, and excessive deference to the needs of the market in structuring an academic programme, with a consequent stress on market economics, management and business administration at the expense of the social sciences.

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