The GCC and the Arab Spring: A Tale of Double Standards
Since 2011, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been confronted with increasing challenges stemming from the Arab uprisings. Internally, they have had to face popular mobilisation and discontent, triggering a mixed reaction, including economic handouts, patronage, limited political and economic reforms as well as military intervention and repression. Externally, they have actively intervened in support of the protest movements in Syria and Libya and enthusiastically facilitated President Saleh's departure from Yemen. At first sight these responses may seem schizophrenic. Upon closer inspection, however, managing instability by shoring up friendly regimes on the inside and expanding the GCC's influence outside represent two sides of the same coin.
Keywords: GCC, Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia, Qatar