ASSESSMENTS

Kuwait's Strength Is Also Its Weakness

MIN READNov 25, 2016 | 09:00 GMT

Unlike most countries of the Middle East, and particularly of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait has a legislative body that can affect reform, one way or another.

(YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Like most countries of the Middle East, Kuwait has struggled to diversify its economy away from oil. After prices fell so famously in 2014, petrostates of the Gulf were unable to implement the reforms needed to cushion their economies from all the revenue they lost. Unlike most countries of the Middle East, and particularly of the Gulf Cooperation Council, however, Kuwait has a legislative body that can affect reform, one way or another. Its parliament is one of the more powerful institutions in the country, one that often obstructs the ruling class instead of rubber-stamping its proposals. It is little wonder, then, that the ruling al-Sabah family dissolved the parliament in mid-October over what it called “security challenges” in the region. Kuwaiti citizens will head to the polls on Nov. 26 to elect a new parliament, which will be uniquely positioned to take its time as it enacts reform. That the...

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