This thesis answers two related research questions: the first asks why war-making and state-making have not walked hand in hand in the Third World and what factors account for the emergence of strong states in the absence of war-making. This thesis argues that rentierism is the best indicator to explain state-formation and that oil revenues are linked to rule and representation. The four cases analysed (United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq and Tunisia) show that rentierism leads to weak states that are autonomous from societal demands. Furthermore, standard theories of state-formation focusing on military competition are in need of refinement. Just as war-making has historically produced strong states in Europe, it has also destroyed weak states. Today, rentierism hinders this and produces a twin phenomenon of weak states and life support for failed states. Theorising state-formation based on revenue and rule, this thesis offers insights into post-conflict peace-building, state failure and democracy promotion