The impact of the Arab spring on the gulf cooperation council
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It is apposite to interrogate the notion of ‘monarchical exceptionalism’ when testing the idea that the ‘Arab Spring’ has not affected the so-called ‘ruling bargain’ in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Arab Spring e´lan is presented in this paper as the sole dynamic with attributes of ‘exceptionalism’. It constitutes a moment of history that continues to rock the decaying pan-Arab body politic to its foundations, be it in varying degrees. It may be argued that there is an undeniable ‘Arab Spring effect’, which has unleashed a largely uncontrollable chain of events, stimulating or setting in motion the idea of change, civic and/or unruly. From this perspective, the Arab Spring can best be labelled as ‘midwife’ to all kinds of aspiring actors, forces, voices and discourses whose quest for change had been put on the back burner when the uprisings erupted in 2011. States are no exception. To elaborate on this line of argument, a twofold analytical agenda is followed. Firstly, change is contextualized, before and after the Arab Spring, addressing how politics is organized in the Arab region. Secondly, the GCC’s ‘story’ with the Arab Spring is disaggregated, with special reference to Qatar’s bold new politics.
- International Affairs [132 items ]