GRAY, Matthew Barry



Faculty of International Research and Education, School of International Liberal Studies

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Concurrent Post 【 display / non-display

  • Faculty of International Research and Education   Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies

Education 【 display / non-display

  • 1995.01

    The Australian National University   Faculty of Arts   Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)  

  • 1992.02

    Macquarie University   Master of Arts (MA)  

  • 1989.02

    Macquarie University   Bachelor of Arts (BA)  

Research Experience 【 display / non-display

  • 2019.04

    Waseda University   School of International Liberal Studies   Professor

  • 2016.09

    Waseda University   School of International Liberal Studies   Associate Professor

  • 2013.01

    The Australian National University   Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies   Associate Professor

  • 2015.08

    The University of Tokyo   Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia   Visiting Research Fellow

  • 2005.01

    The Australian National University   Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies   Senior Lecturer

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Professional Memberships 【 display / non-display




Research Areas 【 display / non-display

  • Area studies   Middle Eastern studies

Research Interests 【 display / non-display

  • international relations

  • political science

  • comparative political economy

  • Middle Eastern studies

Papers 【 display / non-display

  • Rentierism’s Siblings: On the Linkages between Rents, Neopatrimonialism, and Entrepreneurial State Capitalism in the Persian Gulf Monarchies

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Journal of Arabian Studies   8 ( 1 ) 29 - 45  2018.09  [Refereed]

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    This paper examines rentier state theory (RST), and specifically “rentierism” as a more refined and nuanced variant of RST, arguing that while rentierism provides considerable utility in explaining the state-society relationships of the contemporary Arab states of the Persian Gulf, it is insufficient as a stand-alone explanation. It argues that rentierism needs to be considered as a political dynamic of the state-society relationship, rather than as a structural explanation for the state itself, as early RST more ambitiously sought to do. Rentierism therefore needs to be utilized in combination with two other explanatory frameworks, neopatrimonialism and state capitalism. In effect, these are rentierism’s theoretical “siblings”: they sharpen a rentier analysis by providing greater nuance into how elite networks, business-government relations, and personalized politics operate and interact in the allocative settings of the Gulf, as well as illustrating both the scope and the limits of rentierism as an explanatory framework.

  • Heritage, Public Space, and Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Dubai and Qatar

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Journal of Islamic Area Studies   9   3 - 15  2017

  • Lunar Helium-3 Fuel for Nuclear Fusion: Technology, Economics, and Resources

    GRAY Matthew, Barry (co-author

    World Future Review   6 ( 2 ) 158 - 171  2014.06  [Refereed]

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    Nuclear fusion of helium-3 (3He) can be used to generate electrical power with little or no radioactive waste and no carbon emissions. Some forty-four tons of this fuel could meet the electricity needs of the United States for a year. Although rare on Earth, an estimated one million tons of 3He has collected on the surface of the moon. While it would cost approximately US$17 billion to develop a mine producing one ton of 3He per year, such an operation is commercially viable over the medium term given the estimated value of that ton of fuel: US$3.7 billion. This article outlines the technical and economic issues related to 3He and its extraction, and it presents a novel approach to estimating the worth of the fuel. The potential of 3He as a future energy source is set in the context of global energy forecasts and international efforts to investigate lunar 3He resources—including a recent Chinese mission.

  • A Tale of Two Middle Easts: Change and Stasis in the Arab World

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Griffith Asia Quarterly   1 ( 2/3 ) 51 - 76  2013  [Refereed]

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    This paper argues that the past two decades or so has witnessed a dramatic rise in the wealth and economic power of some parts of the Middle East, especially the Arab monarchies of the Gulf, while the non-energy exporting states, especially the republics such as Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and even Tunisia, lagged or even stagnated. The Gulf has had the financial power to cushion the effects of economic reform, and to engage with globalization on its own terms and at its own pace. The republics, meanwhile, have either blindly undertaken neoliberal reforms, which have been deeply unpopular with many people, or have tried to resist economic change and globalization, causing their economies to stagnate. There are now, it is argued here, two 'Middle Easts': the wealthy, predominantly Gulf one, increasingly engaged with Asia and the world and adapting to external change largely on its own terms; and a republican one, left behind by economic stagnation, political dissatisfaction, and a failure to address underlying problems such as rapid population growth, urbanization, and deteriorating social services. As regional power has shifted from this republican Middle East to the Gulf one, and the nature of this regional power has transformed from something primarily military to increasingly based on economic and 'soft' power, the future of the Middle East is becoming bifurcated. One part of it is looking increasingly active and open, while the other, after the shortcomings of the 'Arab Spring' and without dramatic reform, is at risk of remaining on the periphery of the international economic system.

  • A Theory of ‘Late Rentierism’ in the Arab States of the Gulf

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Center for International and Regional Studies Occasional Paper   ( 7 ) 1 - 44  2011.10  [Refereed]

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    Rentier state theory (RST), which seeks to explain the impacts of external payments (or rents) on state-society relations and governance, has now been in wide usage for over two decades, and is still routinely cited by scholars writing on the Gulf or other parts of the world. Its tenets are widely – if by no means unanimously – accepted, and it is argued here, do retain a strong validity at the broader level. However RST has not adapted enough to explain the dramatic changes in the political economies of the Gulf in the past two decades or so, including the responses of Dubai, Bahrain, and more recently Qatar, Abu Dhabi and others, to globalization, new technology, freer trade and investment, social change, and development imperatives. It is argued here that a new phase of RST – ‘late rentierism’ – should be applied to the wealthy Arab Gulf states. The case for late rentierism is made with an emphasis on the shortcomings or oversimplifications of other rentier approaches, and then late rentierism described and explained through a discussion and elucidation of its major features and characteristics, including how these vary, or not, from those of other rentier explanations.

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Books and Other Publications 【 display / non-display

  • Conspiracy theories in the Middle East

    ( Part: Contributor, Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories)

    Routledge  2020.02 ISBN: 9780815361749  [Refereed]

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    Taking a global and interdisciplinary approach, the Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories provides a comprehensive overview of conspiracy theories as an important social, cultural and political phenomenon in contemporary life.

    This handbook provides the most complete analysis of the phenomenon to date. It analyses conspiracy theories from a variety of perspectives, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It maps out the key debates, and includes chapters on the historical origins of conspiracy theories, as well as their political significance in a broad range of countries and regions. Other chapters consider the psychology and the sociology of conspiracy beliefs, in addition to their changing cultural forms, functions and modes of transmission. This handbook examines where conspiracy theories come from, who believes in them and what their consequences are.

    This book presents an important resource for students and scholars from a range of disciplines interested in the societal and political impact of conspiracy theories, including Area Studies, Anthropology, History, Media and Cultural Studies, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology.

    The chapter by Matthew Gray investigates the sources, dynamics, and impacts of conspiracy theories in the Middle East (in particular, the Arab world, with some mention of Iran and Israel), outlining which aspects of conspiracy theories are shared with other parts of the world and which are unique to the region, and why,


  • Qatar: an ambitious small state

    GRAY Matthew Barry( Part: Contributor, Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed.), Routledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East)

    Routledge  2019

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  • The Economy of the Gulf States

    GRAY Matthew Barry( Part: Sole author)

    Agenda Publishers  2019.01 ISBN: 9781788210003

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  • Theorizing Politics, Patronage, and Corruption in the Arab Monarchies of the Gulf

    GRAY Matthew Barry( Part: Contributor, Laura Ruiz de Elvira, Christoph H. Schwarz, Irene Weipert-Fenner (eds), Clientelism and Patronage in the Middle East and North Africa: Networks of Dependency)

    Routledge  2018.06

  • Emerging Trends and Debates in Gulf Studies

    GRAY Matthew Barry( Part: Contributor, Katlyn Quenzer, Maria Syed, and Elisabeth Yarbakhsh (eds), Emerging Scholarship on the Middle East and Central Asia)

    Lexington Books  2018.04

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Misc 【 display / non-display

  • Branding and State-Building in the Arab Gulf States: The Cases of Qatar and Dubai

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Proceedings of the conference: Islam and Multiculturalism: History, Challenges and Prospects, eds. Tetsu Akiyama, Wakao Kumakura and Ryuichi Sugiyama (Tokyo: Organization for Islamic Area Studies, Waseda University, 2016)     77 - 83  2016  [Invited]

    Lecture material (seminar, tutorial, course, lecture, etc.)  

Presentations 【 display / non-display

  • Branding and State-Building in the Arab Gulf States: The Cases of Qatar and Dubai

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Islam and Multiculturalism: History, Challenges and Prospects  (Waseda University, Tokyo) 

    Presentation date: 2016.12

  • Rentier Wealth: Cure or Curse for the Gulf States?

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    The “Resource Curse” in the Gulf Working Group  (Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University Qatar, Doha, Qatar) 

    Presentation date: 2016.10

  • Situating the Debate: The Case for a Re-imagination of the Gulf’s Politics

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    Japan Association of Middle East Studies (JAMES) Annual Conference 2016  (Keio University, Tokyo)  Japan Association of Middle East Studies

    Presentation date: 2016.05

  • Heritage, Development and the Symbolism of Public Spaces in the Arab Gulf States: National Identities and Pseudo-Cosmopolitanism in Doha and Dubai

    GRAY Matthew Barry

    2014 Exeter/Georgetown Gulf Conference: The Heritage Boom in the Gulf; Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives  (University of Exeter, UK) 

    Presentation date: 2014.09

  • The Arab Gulf Political Economies and Problems of Political Transition and Pluralism

    GRAY Matthew Barry  [Invited]

    The Arab World, Iran, and the Major Powers  (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia) 

    Presentation date: 2014.06

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Syllabus 【 display / non-display

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Teaching Experience 【 display / non-display

  • The Gulf Strategic Environment (postgraduate course) (taught 2005-2015)

    Australian National University  

  • Dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (postgraduate course) (taught 2005-2010)

    Australian National University  

  • Issues of Development in the Middle East (postgraduate course) (taught 2005-2014)

    Australian National University  

  • The Dynamics of Business in the Middle East (undergraduate course) (taught 2009-2015)

    Australian National University  

  • The Political Economy of the Middle East (undergraduate course) (taught 2007-2014)

    Australian National University  

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