The article tackles a lesser-known aspect of political bureaucracy in the Arabian Gulf and establishes the link between forced tribal loyalties and hegemonic bureaucracies. The system in place is inherently anti-democratic and fosters a distribution of favours and benefits to groups who have pledged allegiance to ruling families. This has come at the expense of political freedoms for local nationals. The irony is that Gulf countries have granted many privileges to foreign nationals yet have suppressed the political expression of local groups. The countries' governance systems are not amenable to change nor will they tolerate change. Repression of dissent by force is unlikely to promote a climate of harmonious change and development.

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