Baqer Salman Najjar, Modernism in the Arabian Gulf: Transformations of Society and the State, (Beirut: Dar Al-Saqi, 2018). 512 pp. ISBN 9786140320642.

This study deals with transformations that have affected the Arab Gulf countries and posed challenges for their societies and governments. It assumes that the Gulf countries have been able to manipulate the oil wealth and create what appear to be modern states, but were confronted with the dilemma of introducing the kind of civil society and changes that accompany modernity. One main reason behind the study’s assumption refers to the argument that several institutional and traditional social forces, which sometimes take on religious, ethnic and tribal blocs, have resisted...

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