Jordan’s King Abdullah II has stated that economic reform is one of his top priorities, yet it remains hindered by two major obstacles: a lack of public support, and the government’s inability to implement deep reform.
Kuwait has made exemplary strides towards democratic reform over the last two years, but deep tensions between the ruling Al Sabah family and the parliament, as well as fractures within the political opposition, could hinder future progress, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment.
Women’s participation in Islamist movements reflects a growing trend toward women’s activism in the Arab world, though quite different from Western norms.
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.