Gulf constitutions are commonly regarded as weak and ineffective documents endorsing authoritarian patterns of governance. However, on closer scrutiny, they tell a slightly different story. Designed to entrench the positions of rulers empowered by the colonial presence, and constrict the province of political participation to its narrowest, constitutions in the Gulf have created a system of (feeble) institutions that in just a few decades of operation have brought about two unforeseen, yet interconnected effects: a retreat of dynasticism and an expansion of...
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