Category Archives: Bahrain

Taxation, Bahrain’s Alternative Path to Reform

Commentary by Hasan Alhasan – 1 November 2011

Bahrain's Crown Prince. Source:

The decades long adage of “no representation without taxation” that seemed to underpin the way governments have interacted with their citizens in the Gulf region soon may no longer be valid in the tiny island kingdom of Bahrain. In August, the government announced it was studying the highly unpopular option of introducing a corporate tax on companies, a valued-added tax on products and a cut in public subsidizations of consumer goods to cover the growing budget deficit. The country’s Crown Prince Shaikh Salman Al-Khalifa – a modernizing figure within the country’s ruling family – is intent on decreasing Bahrain’s economic dependence on oil and thus on Saudi Arabia. It is estimated that in 2010 oil revenues coming in from the shared Saudi oil field of Abu Safah as subsidy represented up to 67% of Bahrain’s budget revenue. Continue reading



Filed under Arab Spring, Bahrain, English, Gulf states

Bahreïn : une « révolution » victime des rivalités régionales

Par Antoine Alhéritière – 27 juillet 2011


Au troisième lendemain de la chute de Hosni Moubarak, le peuple bahreïni entre à son tour dans le bal des révoltes arabes. Le 14 février 2011 marque la naissance d’un vaste rassemblement d’opposition démocratique, constitué de jeunes citoyens, de blog-activistes, rejoints ensuite par les députés démissionnaires. Les travailleurs pauvres réclament audacieusement leurs droits en lançant une grève générale. Entretemps, les reporters, nationaux ou étrangers, amateurs ou professionnels, répandent effrontément la nouvelle. La répression commence, et les médecins prennent la liberté d’apporter leurs soins aux manifestants blessés. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, Bahrain, Foreign Policy & IR, Français, Gulf states

Obama’s Speech: What Was Unsaid

Commentary by Tamer Mallat and Mélissa Rahmouni21 May 2011

Obama’s long overdue speech on the Arab Spring has provoked a series of mixed and muted reactions across the Arab world. For many, his outspoken remarks claiming that any Palestinian state must be created on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, were received as an encouraging sign that the US is upping the ante on Israel. President Obama’s clear embrace of non-violent and pro-democracy protests in addition to his condemnation of the brutal crackdowns in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, aimed to highlight America’s firm position that favors democratic reform. However, Obama continues to stop short of calling for regime change. By encouraging autocrats from Bahrain to Syria to undergo sincere reforms, Obama’s policy remains focused on ‘behavioral change’ over ‘regime change’. Obama’s silence on a number of issues betrays a possibly more sordid foreign policy shift. Not one word was directed at the developing state of affairs in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco. Continue reading

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Filed under Algeria, Arab Spring, Bahrain, English, Foreign Policy & IR, Gulf states, Lebanon & Syria, Morocco