Gulf youth are every bit as wired and every bit as politically frustrated as youth elsewhere in the region, and they are unlikely to be bought off over the long term if political reforms fail to materialize.
Marc Lynch, associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, in a Foreign Policy magazine piece predicting that the Arab Spring will come to the GCC.
Lynch, aka @abuaardvark, writes:
Wealth, domestic stability, popular media, and aggressive diplomacy obviously matter…
But …the GCC’s current position is a bubble, sustained by artificial conditions which are not likely to remain over the coming years.
First, I find it unlikely that Qatar and Saudi Arabia will continue their recent relatively cooperative foreign policy…
Even the media assets won’t necessarily endure. Saudi Arabia spends a lot on media outlets, but the Saudi media has long been viewed as such a tool of Riyadh’s foreign policy, which costs it credibility and influence. Al-Jazeera seems to many people to be going down the same road. The more that al-Jazeera appears to be a direct tool of Qatari foreign policy, the less appeal it will have as the voice of the Arab public…
There are limits to what money can buy, and regional leadership may well prove to be one of them.
Read the full piece here.
And tell us your thoughts! Could Lynch be on to something?