Silent citizens : state, citizenship and media in the Gulf
This thesis attempts to unravel the essence of the state in the Gulf Arab countries. The study's main argument is that the Gulf Emirates have been able to manipulate the oil wealth and create what appear to be modern states. The Gulf ruling families were confronted, however, with the dilemma of introducing the kind of civil society that accompanies modernity. They have been able to survive and legitimate their dominion by exploiting religion as the state ideology. Traditional patriarchal norms and cultures have been maintained by the ruling tribes in the Gulf. The issue of citizenship and citizens' rights has rarely been debated in regard to the Gulf. However, this is one of the main problems of the contemporary situation in the Gulf states. This study concentrates on this issue by means of a review of the media. The Gulf media have been utilised to promote the modem patriarchal structure of the state. The main body of the thesis examines the media in relation to two main issues: foreign workers in the Gulf and Gulf women. The final chapter of the thesis, however, exposes the fact that Gulf journalists themselves have no rights and that at times of crisis the tenuous autonomy they enjoy withers. A major crisis occurred very recently to reinforce this argument. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and the deployment of foreign troops in the Gulf created a further complication for the Gulf ruling families. They were forced to allow foreign - mainly American and British journalists- to cover the war, but they compelled national reporters to use material which was filtered through the foreign press.