The political change in Oman from 1970 : transition towards democracy
The aim of this thesis is to study the political changes in Oman from 1970 with the focus on the transition towards democracy. The core issue is the change from the policy of the previous sultan, who banned the participation of the nation and oppressed it. This led the country to civil war, isolation and the end of the regime. The current sultan, who launched a coup against his father in 1970, adopted various changes in areas such as the economy, politics and infrastructure, and allowed the people to run the country. The important changes were the process of democratisation in Oman, which is discussed in the context both of democratic theory, and change in the South. The thesis will offer an overview of democratic political theory, an account of political change in the South in general, and in the Middle East region in particular. The focus on Oman will seek to answer three questions: when did the process of democratisation begin; why was it begun, and how has it been managed? The core of the argument will look at the creation of formal institutions of democracy, such as the Majlis Ash-Shura (Consultative Council), and the State Council, and informal institutions, such as the media, the Chamber of Commerce, the Businessmen's Council, Sablat Alarab (the Arab Council Web Site), and the role of leading individuals in the democratic debate. These changes led the current sultan to receive internal and extemallegitimacy. Omani citizens are now aware of the development in other parts of the world and they will force the current sultan to add further changes. He should respond positively in order to remain in power.