What drives the changes in the Gulf oil monarchies?

Nikola Kjurchiski – PhD student in Political Science at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Research fellow of the Centre for Resource Economics at RANEPA. 119571, Prospect Vernadskogo 82/5, Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: kjurchiskin@gmail.com.
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DOI 10.24833/2071-8160-2017-5-56-199-208 (Read the article in PDF)

The article identifies four main events driving the current changes in the Persian Gulf oil monarchies. Located in a troubled and unstable region of the Middle East with the oil prices declining after the events of the “Arab spring” and election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, Gulf oil monarchies are under pressure from inside and outside to undergo significant changes. As a consequence, validity of the theory of «monarchical exclusiveness» is called into question. The political elites in the monarchies recognize the need to depart from the status quo, although the phenomenon of the «king’s dilemma» is still present there. The author argues that the monarchy should undergo conservative liberalization. To avoid political destabilization they should apply a gradual, evolutionary approach to liberalization providing their societies with enough time to adapt to new developments. Along with the gradual liberalisation process there is also need in institutional development to make institutions stronger and more independent.

Key words: monarchies of the Persian Gulf, monarchical exclusiveness, changes, conservative liberalization.

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