The death of Kuwait’s emir, Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, marks the passage of a seasoned diplomat, cunning politician, and valued humanitarian. Will his successor preserve Kuwait’s democratic political culture and independent foreign policy?
Kristin Smith Diwan
Senior Resident Scholar
Kristin Smith Diwan is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. Her current projects concern generational change, nationalism, and the evolution of Islamism in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Her analysis of Gulf affairs has appeared in many publications, among them Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, and The Washington Post.
Diwan was previously an assistant professor at the American University School of International Service and has held visiting scholar positions at the George Washington University and Georgetown University. From 2013-14 she served as a visiting senior fellow at the Atlantic Council where she published on youth movements and participated in the Strategic Dialogue for a New US-Gulf Partnership.
Diwan received her PhD from Harvard University and holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University in Texas, her home state.
While political narratives on Israel are shifting under the influence of some determined state leaders, resistance to normalization remains across Gulf societies.
Under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic and the political imperatives of upcoming elections, populism is raging in Kuwait. It colors public discourse high and low, from elite campaigns to root out corruption to grassroot demands to expel guest workers.
As the Saudi government manages the fallout from collapsing oil revenue, it will be seeking greater contributions from the Saudi public. A little-known program to instill the productive values of entrepreneurship, hard work, and optimism may have found its moment.
Aggressive moves both at home and in global oil markets demonstrate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s control over decision making, with the Saudi public invested as never before.
Kristin Smith Diwan sat down with Mark C. Thompson to discuss his research on the generational shift in attitudes of Saudi men.
AGSIW experts explain what regional trends they’ll be following most closely as the year unfolds.
Sultan Haitham will need to balance powerful interests while engaging all parties, especially as he tackles economic policy.
Kristin Smith Diwan and Hussein Ibish discuss the role for the Gulf Arab states in de-escalating tensions between Iran and the United States.
Kuwait’s government resigns amid charges of embezzlement, as both the Parliament and ruling family prepare for impending elections – and a looming succession.