Political Participation in Kuwait: Dīwāniyya, Majlis and Parliament

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This article examines political participation in Kuwait, focusing on formal and informal mechanisms Evaluating society only in terms of the degree to which it is “democratic” has diverted attention from basic elements in Kuwaiti society and from important changes that it has undergone over time. Like other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait grew out of a tribally structured society; therefore tribal characteristics need to be accounted for when examining its society and the institutionalization of its politics. Following a brief explanation of the basic problems of researching political participation, a short historical outline, and definitions of Kuwait's basic administrative mechanisms, a chronological analysis of the first half of the twentieth century is presented, in order to explain the evolution of Kuwait's political system. Exploring the parliamentary period from the 1960s to the present also helps to create a new approach for understanding Kuwait's unique political culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-141
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Arabian Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012, Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Kuwait
  • dīwāniyya
  • history
  • majlis
  • parliaments
  • political participation
  • politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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