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Mary Ann Tétreault


Dissent and Citizens' Rights in Kuwait (Part Two): Ghost Parliaments and the "Abyss of Autocracy"

[Protest in Kuwait City condemning the changes in voting procedures and calling for a parliamentary election boycott. 30 November 2012. Image from Ra'ed Qutena/flickr]

[Click here for Part One: The Limits of Electoral Democracy] The first part of this article examined the parallel constriction of citizens’ rights and parliamentary authority in the decades leading up to the 2011 confrontation between Kuwait’s rulers and its citizens and their representatives. While coinciding with and overshadowed by the media’s concentration on the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria, this struggle emerged from a historically particular set of ...

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Dissent and Citizens' Rights in Kuwait (Part One): The Limits of Electoral Democracy

[Kuwaitis at the Palace of Justice demonstrating their solidarity with arrested opposition activists. 26 November 2011. Image from Ra'ed Qutena/flickr]

Egypt and Syria are absorbing attention in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf, but not so much that the treatment of domestic dissidents has slipped off the agenda. When it comes to civil liberties, Kuwait was an outlier among its Gulf peers. Its constitution enumerates a list of citizen rights and liberties, while its elected parliament, unlike other “representative” bodies in the region, actually has some legislative power. Civil liberties protections depend on both. When ...

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Mary Ann Tétreault

Mary Ann Tétreault is the Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs Emerita at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  Her publications include books and articles about democratization, social movements, gender, oil markets, war crimes, international political economy, world politics, and American foreign policy.  Her regional focus is the Gulf, with an emphasis on Kuwait about which she has written many articles and two books.