Power consolidation through turmoil: COVID-19 in the GCC

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This article is featured in the ORIENT III 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted political relations around the world; however, none have been felt as abruptly as within the Gulf Cooperation Council States. As a result of the sudden of threat materialisation, there has been a surge in the manipulation of technological and social applications in a bid to increase the state’s control over society. This has been legitimised by the pandemic but has its roots in the survival of the state.

Matthew Hedges is undertaking a PhD at Durham University in the School of Government and International Affairs. He is researching strategies of authoritarian resilience with a focus on the GCC states. Matthew has a special interest in Middle Eastern politics and security studies, with a focus on weak and failing states. While finishing his PhD thesis, he is preparing additional research projects examining the evolution of elite composition after regime change across the Arabian Peninsula.

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