The Arab Spring During The Middle East And North African Region

1779 Words Oct 30th, 2016 8 Pages
The Arab Spring brought revolutionary changes to the Middle East and North African region’s authoritarian republics while bypassing its autocratic monarchies. The monarchical exceptionalism that has allowed these states to remain intact is due to a set of three overlapping factors—crosscutting coalitions, hydrocarbon rents, and foreign patronage. Collectively, these factors explain why most of the royal autocracies never experienced widespread protest.
The eight Arab monarchies—Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE—hold near-absolute power. According to the Gause article, none of the states qualify as constitutional kingships in which the enthroned incumbent exercises only ceremonial influence while an elected parliamentary government makes policy. The region’s kings and emirs not only reign but they also rule. They are the lead decision makers in naming cabinets, determining major domestic and foreign policies, controlling the state’s coercive apparatus, and allowing parliaments and judiciaries limited authority (Gause). According to Gause, the first element of the strategic explanation for monarchical exceptionalism is one that links the historical legacy of domestic choices with a permissive international environment. The majority of the monarchies have used the tool of crosscutting coalitions thereby linking alliances of different social constituencies to the ruling family. In general, dictators cannot…
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