Friday, 10th August 2012
Unpacking the GCC’s Response to the Arab Spring
Since 2011 the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been confronted with mounting challenges stemming from the Arab uprisings. Domestically, they have not been immune from the wave of protests that originated from long-simmering
social grievances and political exclusion. Almost all GCC countries have witnessed some sort of public protest in one form or another. Bahrain and Oman witnessed prolonged street protests, while other GCC countries experienced short-lived public protests. In some cases, demonstrations turned violent and disruptive, resulting in deaths and imprisonment of some of the protestors as well as other forms of punishment, such as the revocation of citizenship.
This situation has triggered a mixed reaction in which patronage and partial political and economic reforms have been coupled with repression and even military intervention. At the same time, the GCC member states have actively intervened in support of the protest movements in Syria and Libya and enthusiastically facilitated President Saleh’s departure from Yemen. At first sight, these responses may seem schizophrenic. Upon closer inspection, however, they become meaningful when three main dichotomies – inside vs. outside, monarchies vs. republics and Sunnis vs. Shiites – are taken into account.
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By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at email@example.com
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