Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research

Abstract or Brief Description

This essay interweaves two stories—one theoretical and empirical, the other autobiographical. The first story embeds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the broader political economy of the Middle East and the global accumulation of “capital as power.” The second story narrates the authors’ personal journey to uncover, theorize, and research this enfoldment. The essay explores and contextualizes the misleading duality of politics and economics; the link between military spending, finance, and stagflation; the concepts of “dominant capital” and “differential accumulation” and their evolution through “breadth” and “depth”; the manner in which these concepts and processes inform the political economy of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and the ways in which they help identify the key role of the Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition and predict the periodic eruption of Middle East “energy conflicts.” In their explorations, the authors have encountered numerous gatekeepers who tried to derail their research as well as a few open-minded editors who sought to promote it, and it is probably fair to say that, dialectically, they have benefited from both.

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