Understanding Input and Output Legitimacy of Environmental Policymaking in The Gulf Cooperation Council States

Yasemin Atalay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article analyses environmental policymaking in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, with a focus on the output legitimacy of renewable energy uptake. Most environmental policy research so far has focused on either Western industrialized countries with established democracies or developing countries with either democratic or autocratic policymaking systems, and few studies have yet analyzed the overall effectiveness of these monarchies in environmental decisionmaking. The degree of this policy effectiveness is hence the focus of this paper. Specifically, the paper argues that, although there are a number of input legitimacy deficits in the six GCC countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman), there has been progress regarding renewable energy uptake. Thus, these monarchies may be relying more on output legitimacy than input legitimacy. Following up on the studies on input and output legitimacy, the main argument is that in certain cases useful policy results can be reached in the presence of not so strong input legitimacy, and other factors also have an impact on policymaking. The paper bases its analysis on an extensive study of primary and secondary sources, specifically institutional publications, international organization reports, newspaper articles and academic papers. With its analysis, the paper contributes to larger debates in environmental governance research on the relative effectiveness of renewable energy uptake in monarchical, resource-rich, rentier states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Issue number1
Early online date19 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • effectiveness
  • environmental policy
  • governance
  • Gulf monarchies
  • legitimacy
  • renewable energy


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