The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) countries are all monarchies, but their societies, ecomies and polities are organised primarily through kinship in the form of extended families and tribes. No other region in the world consists of states so traditional in their organisation developing at rates well above global averages, and which are ultra-modern in many other regards. The contributors examine the paradox of the persisting importance of family and tribe in the face of modernisation. They evaluate past and present roles of kinship in the GCC states, assess the impacts of change, and speculate on likely future patterns of social, ecomic and political organisation.
Alanoud Alsharekh is a member of the Advisory Council of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS and a consultant for the United Nations Development Fund for Women.