The Political Effect of the Corona Crisis on the Arab Gulf States
The author of the article argues that COVID-19 has allowed governments across the globe to restrict individual freedoms, limit privacy and liberty, impose a policy of physical distancing and prevent gatherings on the pretext of protecting people from contracting the virus. This long-term outcome could apply as well to the Gulf States, whose governments have long depended on economic wealth and rentier fiscal policies to shape societies that were mostly less receptive to regional popular political mobilisation for change. He also argues that pandemic has demonstrated the urgency of the need in the Arab Gulf countries for a government role in the economic, security and social spheres. This, he contends, could establish the concept of "big government" in the Gulf countries, where governments play the largest role in the state’s political, economic and social Systems.