Upcoming Event

Details

Date:
March 14
Time:
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Online

Organizer

Gulf International Forum

About the Book

The first English language political history of Kuwaiti parliament, this book provides an unprecedented holistic treatment of grassroots contemporary Kuwaiti politics in English in over two decades, incorporating the country’s political dynamics into broader debates about the limits of authoritarianism and the practice of democracy in the Arab world, particularly in oil-wealthy states. Author Courtney Freer uses the lens of parliamentary elections as a means of understanding the political ideologies that have dominated in Kuwait since independence. As such, it situates the dynamics of Kuwaiti politics within broader political science debates about whether democratic institutions in “hybrid regimes” are meaningful arenas for popular contestation or only serve to enhance autocratic rule.

Given the varying portrayals of Kuwait as robust authoritarianism, “upgraded” authoritarianism, or a noteworthy site of democratic participation, The Resilience of Parliamentary Politics in Kuwait: Parliament, Rentierism, and Society focuses on the ideologies that have mobilized political blocs, rather than solely focusing on the institutions of political power themselves. Freer includes extensive fieldwork and the use of Arabic and English primary sources to assess and examine the institutional setting that Kuwait presents and traces the dominant ideological strands in the country, considering the comparative mobilizational potential of ascriptive identities like tribe and sect.

Featured Speakers: Dr. Dania Thafer and Dr. Courtney Freer.

Speakers Bio

Dr. Dania Thafer

Executive Director, Gulf International Forum

@Dr_DaniaThafer

Dr. Dania Thafer is the Executive Director of Gulf International Forum, an institute based in Washington, D.C. that provides analysis on political, economic, social, and security issues for the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Iran, Iraq and Yemen. She is also a Professorial Lecturer at the School of Foreign Service’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Her expertise is on the Gulf region’s security, U.S.-Gulf relations, and the political economy of the GCC states.

Dr. Thafer has been widely published and consults regularly on matters concerning the GCC and the Middle East. Dr. Thafer has a new book titled “Creative Insecurity: Institutional Inertia and Youth Potential in the GCC” published by Oxford University Press and Hurst Co. (2023). Additionally, she has co-authored two edited books “The Arms Trade, Military Services and the Security Market in the Gulf States: Trends and Implications” and “The Dilemma of Security and Defense in the Gulf Region.” Her commentary has appeared in international media outlets, including:  The New York Times, Financial Times, BBC World, Washington Post, Forbes, Al Jazeera and others. Additionally, she is regularly consulted by governmental, non-governmental, corporations and research institutions globally.

Previously, she was responsible for building relationships with foreign dignitaries from the Middle East at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. Dr. Thafer has a master’s degree in political science from New York University, and Ph.D. in Political Science, specialized in the Political Economy and International Relations from American University in Washington, DC.

Dr. Courtney Freer

Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Gulf International Forum

@courtneyfreer

Dr. Courtney Freer is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University and a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at Gulf International Forum. Previously, Dr. Freer was Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre. From 2015-2020, Courtney was a Research Officer for the Kuwait Programme at the LSE Middle East Centre. Her work focuses on the domestic politics of the Gulf states, particularly the roles played by Islamism and tribalism. Her book Rentier Islamism: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gulf Monarchies, based on her DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford and published by Oxford University Press in 2018, examines the socio-political role played by the Muslim Brotherhood groups in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. She previously worked at the Brookings Doha Center and the US–Saudi Arabian Business Council. Courtney holds a BA from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the George Washington University.

Details

Date:
March 14
Time:
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Online

Organizer

Gulf International Forum
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