Perception, petroleum, and power: Mythmaking in oil-scarce Turkey and Jordan
Oil has been a cardinal driver of economic growth and national development in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. States that produce oil in globally exportable quantities tend to be more powerful than those that do not. Oil-scarce states in the Middle East that neighbor oil-rich states and rely on them for imports create myths to explain their relatively unfortunate geology. This study illustrates and analyzes the myths that people in Turkey and Jordan have created to explain why they lack oil. In the process, it also explains the attitudes, beliefs, and social norms within these countries regarding oil. In both Turkey and Jordan, public understanding of why the country lacks oil forms a tautology about the relationship between oil and the nation's wealth and development, as well as its political, economic, and military power.