Abstract: The Arab Spring and Middle Eastern Monarchies

The “Arab Spring” emphatically changed the political landscape of the Middle East: Four leaders have been forced out of power by popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Protests have become increasingly common throughout the Middle East.  Responses to the Arab Spring have differed throughout the Middle East. Many countries have promised reforms, while others have responded with violence.

I am intrigued by the different responses and attempts by governments to survive the Arab Spring, especially by the Middle Eastern monarchies. Many monarchs have been in power since the end of colonialism, yet they did not succumb to revolutions similar to those in Egypt or Libya. All of the monarchies share the same goal of maintaining power. And yet, they survived using different tactics.

Using a policy-substitutibility approach, my research will allow me to analyze the different responses of monarchies to the Arab Spring and attempt to understand the individual policy preferences of each monarchy. It will answer questions such as: What policies did each monarchy enact? How do the policy preferences differ across the different monarchies. What factors led to the different responses by each governments?