After the Sheikhs : The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies
The Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia and its five smaller neighbours: the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain) have long been governed by highly autocratic and seemingly anachronistic regimes. Yet despite bloody conflicts on their doorsteps, fast-growing populations, and powerful modernising and globalising forces impacting on their largely conservative societies, they have demonstrated remarkable resilience. Obituaries for these traditional monarchies have frequently been penned, but even now these absolutist, almost medieval, entities still appear to pose the same conundrum as before: in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring and the fall of incumbent presidents in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, the apparently steadfast Gulf monarchies have, at first glance, re-affirmed their status as the Middle East s only real bastions of stability. In this book, however, noted Gulf expert Christopher Davidson contends that the collapse of these kings, emirs, and sultans is going to happen, and was always going to. While the revolutionary movements in North Africa, Syria, and Yemen will undeniably serve as important, if indirect, catalysts for the coming upheaval, many of the same socio-economic pressures that were building up in the Arab republics are now also very much present in the Gulf monarchies. It is now no longer a matter of if but when the West s steadfast allies fall. This is a bold claim to make but Davidson, who accurately forecast the economic turmoil that afflicted Dubai in 2009, has an enviable record in diagnosing social and political changes afoot in the region.
- Hardback | 304 pages
- 144.78 x 223.52 x 33.02mm | 544.31g
- 11 Nov 2013
- Oxford University Press, USA
- New York, United States
About Christopher M Davidson
Christopher Davidson is reader in Government and International Affairs at Durham University, a former visiting associate professor at Kyoto University, and a former assistant professor at Zayed University in the UAE. He is the author of several books on the politics and international affairs of the Gulf states, including Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond, Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success, and most recently The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia: From Indifference to Interdependence.
"Davidson argues in this theoretically rigorous and empirically sounds book [that] the anachronistic system of Gulf monarchies will collapse as they are unable to the needs of their young and increasingly tech-savvy citizens. Highly recommended." --CHOICE"This fine-tuned monarchical resilience, Davidson argues, cannot be sustained for much longer. Immense internal pressures are building up and the pressure-cooker is about to explode. Davidson marshals an impressive array of evidence." -- Independent"An important account. . . This is an unsentimental story of hard-nosed political calculation, conspicuous consumption (the UAE is the world's biggest consumer of scotch), opaque budgets and sovereign wealth funds that hoover up assets such as Harrods and the Emirates Stadium." -- Guardian"In After the Sheikhs Christopher Davidson argues that the Gulf regimes will be gone at least in their current form within the next two to five years. Although the demise of the Gulf regimes has long been announced, Davidson s audacious prediction should not be lightly dismissed. The dynamics he analyses and the facts he has gathered, based on long-term observation of the region, provide tantalising clues that profound change may indeed be at close hand." --Dirk Vandewalle, Associate Professor of Government, Dartmouth College"Britain and the US are uncritical friends of the hereditary Gulf rulers; but what if they are likely to collapse, as Christopher Davidson convincingly predicts? It would be folly to ignore the writing on the wall for these insatiably greedy elites; Davidso' s warning should be on the desk of every Foreign Office Minister." --Lord Avebury, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group'After the Sheikhs is a book of tremendous value. It applies a rigorously constructed theoretical framework to a rich array of empirical data in order to assess the long-term survivability of some of the world s last authoritarian holdouts. For anyone interested in understanding the post-2011 Middle East, this is essential reading'. --Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University, Qatar"Mr Davidson is one of the most knowledgeable academics writing about the region. He sets out his scenario of monarchical doom with authoritative and often riveting detail. ... Plainly he is right that each of the monarchs has cause to worry." -- The Economist'...for lecturers and students in the fields of Islamic Studies, International Relations, Political Science and History, this book is required reading. ...Davidson is to be commended for producing such a compact but lucid volume on an area of the world that is largely obscure to the general public in the West.' --The Muslim World Book Review "Davidson's book [has] clarity and a writing style that excites interest. Davidson is to be commended for producing such a compact but lucid volume on an area of the world which is largely obscure to the general public of the West." -- Anthony McRoy, The Muslim World Book Review"Davidson's book [has] clarity and a writing style that excites interest. Davidson is to be commended for producing such a compact but lucid volume on an area of the world ... which is largely obscure to the general public of the West." -- The Muslim World Book Review