Sulṭān Qabūs bin Saʿīd has enjoyed absolute power in Oman for more than four decades. Absolutism, on the one hand, is one of the main characteristics of Arab Gulf monarchies. Oman is no exception in this regard. Constitutionalism, on the other hand, restricts governmental powers—and people, not monarchies, make modern constitutions. This is not the case in the oil-rich Gulf monarchies. Indeed, absolutism and constitutionalism are not only two different concepts, but as far as democratic nations are concerned, the two are also in conflict with each other.1 Arab...
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