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The changing political situation in the twenty-first century Gulf and the scale of socioeconomic problems are presenting new challenges to the modern oil monarchies. The performance of traditional patron–client networks and wealth redistribution is increasingly vulnerable not only to the inherent uncertainty implied by dependence on oil revenues but also to population dynamics enhanced by structural deficiencies, environmental degradation, and future climate uncertainties. Projections indicate that Middle Eastern localities will be exceedingly vulnerable to aggregate impacts and risk of large-scale discontinuities, which will exacerbate the current situation of the already progressively degraded land and is likely to intensify the already severe water stress (Evans 2009). Consequently, the region is facing a number of converging trends that threaten the future well-being of Gulf nationals and will have a disproportionate impact on the low-income social strata. It should be noted that the comprehensive definition of food security elaborated in Section “Food Security: A Misunderstood Concept in the GCC” includes “all residents” and, therefore, it can be determined with certainty that large segments of those currently living in the Gulf, especially lower-income expatriates, are severely food insecure. However, the plight of these millions of foreign workers has been sufficiently covered in the academic literature and hence will not be part of this analysis.
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