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Political Change in the Arab Gulf States: Stuck in Transition

Mary Ann Tétreault, Gwenn Okruhlik, and Andrzej Kapiszewski, editors
Political Change in the Arab Gulf States: Stuck in Transition
ISBN: 978-1-58826-752-8
ISBN: 978-1-58826-994-2
2011/369 pages/LC: 2010032864

"A rewarding, thought-provoking collection of scholarship, and an important resource for scholars working on the contemporary politics, sociology, and security of the Arab Gulf states."—Brandon Friedman, Bustan

"Provid[es] analytical depth from which to examine the Arab uprising in comparative perspective.... Rich and stimulating."—Steffen Hortog, Perspectives on Politics

"An excellent and accessible account of political developments in both the GCC and the Gulf.... This book is an important read, and one that will appeal to historians, political scientists and area-studies scholars alike."—Marc Owen Jones, Journal of Arabian Studies


Although reform movements have been prominent in varying degrees in most Middle Eastern countries for some time, the recent cascade of events has generated new pressures for democratization throughout the Arab World. Political Change in the Arab Gulf States explores the politics influencing the volatile situation in the region, as well as specific measures devised by regimes in power to adjust to the challenges of the current environment.

The authors first focus on the politics of seven Gulf states: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. They then consider forces that are shaping current political attitudes and behavior across the region. The result is a careful assessment of the prospects for political reform in the Gulf—and an important corrective to a simplistic domino theory of democratization.


Mary Ann Tétreault is Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at Trinity University. Her recent publications include Stories of Democracy: Politics and Society in Contemporary Kuwait and World Politics as if People Mattered. Gwenn Okruhlik is visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science at Trinity University. She has published widely on a range of issues related to Saudi Arabia. The late Andrzej Kapiszewski was professor of sociology at Jegellonian University in Krakow. Among his many publications is Nationals and Expatriates: Population and Labor Dilemmas of the GCC States.


  • Twenty-First-Century Politics in the Arab Gulf States—the Editors.
  • Reweaving the Myth of Bahrain’s Parliamentary Experience—G.P. Parolin.
  • Shi'ite Parties and the Democratic Process in Iraq—J.R.I. Cole.
  • Bottom-Up Democratization in Kuwait—M.A. Tétreault.
  • Oman Faces the Twenty-First Century—J.E. Peterson.
  • Political Reform in Qatar—J. Crystal.
  • The Saudi Shi'a and Political Reform in Saudi Arabia—J. Zdanowski.
  • Economics Trumps Politics in the United Arab Emirates—C. Koch.
  • Women in Civic and Political Life: Reform Under Authoritarian Regimes—E.A. Doumato.
  • New Media: In Search of Equilibrium—N. Janardhan.
  • Permanent Interests, Variable Policies: The United States in the Gulf—M.A. Tétreault.
  • Defense Cooperation: Beyond Symbolism?—M. Legrenzi.
  • Juxtapositions and Sticking Points—G. Okruhlik and M.A. Tétreault .