It is unfathomable to continue governing
the Gulf states without some form of citizen participation in the legislature. Also,
there is mounting international criticism of these Gulf states, who value their
In the wake of the Arab uprisings some
governments may have changed but the challenges remain the same. The recent rise
to power of untested Islamist political parties means that they will have to
tackle issues for which previous governments have failed to find solutions.
For the Arab States of the Gulf there are two kinds of reforms, those that are acceptable and those that are off limits. Off limit calls for reform include calling for a constitutional monarchy. Acceptable calls for reform on the other hand include advocating for women's rights and for the election of municipal councils. Is there a middle ground?
The military and security apparatuses of these Gulf states
plays a role in keeping the peace, but the best way forward is to build a civil
society that is bound by a unifying mechanism such as a functioning, representative,
The Bahraini activist Jassim Buhejji was a quiet figure who nonetheless played a formative role in sustaining the best of his country's political traditions. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi reflects on his legacy and pays tribute.