Kuwait is gripped by a state of political paralysis. A standoff between the ruling family and the elected parliament is aggravated by deep divisions within each side, making any kind of political movement difficult if not impossible.
Previous attempts at economic reform have not alleviated the economic problems of Arab countries, failing to dismantle state-dominated economies with high restrictions on private investments.
After the war of last summer, Lebanon had settled back into a pretense of normality, shattered periodically by massive demonstrations in the streets of the capital, as Hizbollah mustered its supporters in an attempt to force the government to call for early elections. The government refused to give in. Hizbollah is now trying to break the impasse.