Argumentative Essay On Political Reforms In United Arab Emirates

Published: 2021-06-22 00:26:10
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A precise examination of the extent and limitations of political reforms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must begin from the structural factors of the current system. The established structures are essentially totalitarian in aspect (Kamrava 6). The center of governance is firmly situated within the hereditary institutions that are opposed to any other alternative systems of governance. The legal systems, the economic systems, and the social systems have, over the times, been adjusted to suit the interests of the ruling elite (Davidson 12a). The political systems as constituted presently are restrictive and suppressive in aspect. Legally, political pluralism is outlawed in the UAE.
The continuum of political suppression is buttressed by a vigilant law enforcement system, which has been designed to inhibit the flourishing of political dissent (Davidson 9b). Whenever, the country comes under threat of internal political pressure, the state unleashes police brutality and a partisan judiciary to enforce the will of the minority rule. The restrictive political environment is completed by the systematic suppression of the freedom of expression. Generally, the media is under the captive of the interests of the ruling minority (Peterson 65). The social media is also regulated through threats by the institutions that are charged with law and order. An illustration of the limited space for political reforms is to be found in the recent trials of five political activists who used the social media to advocate for increased political space in the UAE.
International human rights bodies such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch cited these trials as travesties. The tenets on which the cases were premised were found to lack backing of the international law. This would mean that the institutions in the UAE are basically exclusivist in the sense that they do not seek to resonate with the global pressure for political pluralism. The outlets of alternative political participation are designed within the suppressive system so that they lack any structural basis on which they could advance the course of reforms (Krause 56). However, current studies have revealed that external factors may bring about significant influence to advance the course for reforms in the oil-rich state.
These factors may be classified into two broad categories that include the expansion of democratic processes around the globe and the current uprisings in the Arab world (Davidson 13b). Increased contacts and connections with global democratic processes could provide an entry point of political reforms in the country. Already isolationist tendencies from western powers have increasingly brought pressure on the regime to open up its political space for democratic institutions (Rugh 44). The second aspect could involve the ripple effects of the Arab uprisings, which could create reconstructive pressure on the country’s political processes (Herb 34). Ultimately, the force and pace of reforms in the UAE must involve the complete overhaul of the current structures that restrict and suppress democratic processes.
The legal system which was crafted to suit the interests of the hereditary governance must be revised in a way that would impact positively on the reform agenda. Precisely, constitutional reforms must be considered as the fundamental starting point of the reform program (Appendix A). The pressure of the current reformists must be focused on the need for constitutional review as the preliminary stage of political reforms. Studies have found out that reforms that are driven by constitutional changes have a comparative significant advantage than piecemeal processes.
Works Cited
Kamrava, Mehran. Royal Factionalism and Political Liberalization in Qatar. Middle East Journal, 63, (3). 2009 pp. 401-420.
Davidson, Christopher. Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond. London: Hurst, 2009.
Davidson, Christopher. Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success. London: Hurst, 2008.
Davidson, Christopher. The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival. Boulder, CO: Lynne
Rienner Publishers, 2005.
Herb, Michael. A Nation of Bureaucrats: Political Participation and Economic Diversification in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Middle East Studies,
41,(3).,2009, pp. 375-395.
Krause, Wanda. Women in Civil Society. The State, Islamism, and Networks in the UAE. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Peterson, John, E. Qatar and the World: Branding for a Micro-State. Middle East Journal. 60, (4)
2006, pp.732-748.
Rugh, Andrea, B. The political culture of leadership in the United Arab Emirates. New York,
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

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