Kuwait: Stories of Democracy: Politics and Society in Contemporary Kuwait

By Aarts, Paul | The Middle East Journal, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Kuwait: Stories of Democracy: Politics and Society in Contemporary Kuwait


Aarts, Paul, The Middle East Journal


KUWAIT

Stories of Democracy: Politics and Society in Contemporary Kuwait, by Mary Ann Tetreault. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. xv + 238 pages. Notes to 282. Bibl. to 298, Index to 309. $18.50 paper.

Reviewed by Paul Aarts

In most Arab countries, there is neither a well-- developed concept of citizenship nor of public responsibility of the state. Kuwait is no exception to that, albeit there are vast differences between the Kuwaiti experience of limited political liberalization and the other Arab states in the Gulf region. Political life in Kuwait has been oscillating between a tribal authoritarianism and an oligarchic republicanism. Stories of Democracy is an outstanding book on the idiosyncrasies of Kuwaiti politics, unravelling how the process of modernization is-obviously not without its ambiguities-tipping the balance. It may be a process of two steps forward and one step backward (sometimes more than one), but the direction is unequivocal. Civil bodies are increasingly capable of moving the state.

Things do not come easy, as Mary Ann Tetreault emphatically stipulates, spelling out the repeated recurrence of broadly similar situations in which various political factions have sought to advance their own notions of Kuwaiti history and politics, using strategies that have not fundamentally changed since the early stirring of the prodemocracy movement in the late thirties. Since the tumultuous experience of the 1938-39 legislative council, patterns of behavior persist which reflect enduring divisions over a range of key issues.

After dealing briefly with the 1921-90 period of struggle between Kuwaiti rulers and merchants, Tetreault presents a detailed history of state-society relations from the eve of the Iraqi invasion till the latest (June 1999) parliamentary elections. Her analysis, based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, reserves a particular place for the concept of "political space." Two "protected spaces" receive special attention. The first of these spaces is the home and, by extension, the family and kin-based institutions and associations like the tribe, the family business, and the diwaniyya (a kind of salon for men only). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Kuwait: Stories of Democracy: Politics and Society in Contemporary Kuwait
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.