Oman is currently experiencing a social and political crisis emanating from issues created by the declining health of Sultan Qaboos, as well as fundamental problems with the nature of the state's regime. Oman is a country renowned for its progressive and modern outlook, but in the last decade it has become increasingly alienated from its ruling authority. During the Omani Spring of 2011 popular protests took place demanding political change and greater rights, freedoms and improved living standards. Sultan Qaboos wisely responded to these protests with a package of reforms including some to the constitution and judicial institutions, but these have been thwarted by repressive measures by the security services and other agencies. More than four years on, Oman faces many challenges in launching a process of comprehensive reform that would lead to a transition to democracy and limited constitutional rule.