Tag Archives: Saudi women voting rights

“Democratization” in the Gulf? Saudi and Emirati Style

Commentary by Riccardo Dugulin – 8 October 2011

Semantics matters. International media and commentators have a negative propensity to easily depict the Gulf Monarchies, and especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as absolutist systems. Such a definition does not take into consideration the active political life and inter-familial distinct tendencies that shape the policy-making process of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In Kuwait and Bahrain voters have concrete constitutional powers and the month of September witnessed elections in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These facts should not be over interpreted, as none of the Gulf Monarchies may be coined as liberal democracies. Continue reading

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