A discussion withKristin Smith DiwanVisiting Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
The George Washington University
Acting Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Though Gulf rulers were not toppled in the wave of Arab uprisings that swept across the region in 2011, many of the Gulf countries face existential pressures that can no longer be ignored, with youth voices calling for reform on social media platforms and declining economic resources insufficient to sustain the social contract.
Exploring these issues, nonresident senior fellow Kristin Smith Diwan will discuss her new issue brief "Breaking Taboos: Youth Activism in the Gulf States," with a particular emphasis on youth movements in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Diwan contends that although the political achievements of youth movements have been meager and youth activists have suffered setbacks under the onslaught of government restrictions, the political implications of a growing youth population will intensify, especially as an aging Gulf leadership faces its own generational transition. Marc Lynch will comment on Diwan's issue brief and offer perspective on the regional and domestic politics that impact Gulf youth. Please join us for a discussion on the future of youth activism in the Gulf as well as the prospects for reform in these countries.