Over the past five years, Kuwait’s rulers have confronted a variety of crises. Declining oil revenues have forced the regime to engage in deficit spending, which may jeopardize both the state’s extensive system of social welfare programs and its efforts to encourage diverse industrial development projects. The war between Iran and Iraq poses a continuing threat to the country’s foreign commerce as well as to its position as one of the primary financial and service centers of the Gulf region. Attempts by groups associated with Iran to undermine the Sabah regime have led to heightened internal security. Two signs of this are the broader scope of police involvement in domestic affairs and the doubling of defense spending between 1979-1980 and 1983-1984. Pressure from Saudi Arabia to subordinate Kuwait’s military policies to the broader dictates of the Gulf Cooperation Council threatens to deprive the government of its relative neutrality in regional affairs. Perhaps at no other time since independence in 1961 have the country’s rulers faced such a range of outside perils.

These external crises have been exacerbated by shifts within Kuwaiti society itself which involve virtually all sectors of the economy. Stated simply, social relations in Kuwait are taking on some of the characteristics of a well-developed capitalist society, in which the ownership of economic enterprises is becoming concentrated in fewer and fewer hands while the scale of production is growing in both size and complexity. This process has been associated both with the creation of a growing working class — one increasingly composed of expatriates — and with an expanded state involvement in domestic political and economic affairs. These trends have altered the social foundations upon which the country’s fundamentally laissez-faire economic order has rested in the years since independence. This internal transformation has made the regime particularly sensitive to outside threats.

Class Basis of Kuwait Politics

Since the first decades of the twentieth century, Kuwaiti society has been dominated by a coalition of tribal leaders and prominent merchant families having close ties to British commercial interests. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the country’s larger merchant houses made their fortunes by importing and re-exporting British manufactured goods into the northern end of the Gulf. These richer houses served as the primary wholesalers for the smaller shopkeepers and traders in and around the city-state. Their control over foreign trade in the area provided these families with a source of considerable power and wealth, which they extended by investing in both date cultivation and shipowning during the years just prior to World War II.

With the start of oil production in 1946, Kuwait’s ruling Sabah family became the more influential partner within the country’s dominant coalition. The country’s commercial elite gradually abandoned their agricultural and shipping activities and subordinated their interests to those of the royal family and the state institutions it had created as a means of allocating royalties from oil production. The richer merchant families became integrated into both the central administration and the state-supported shareholding companies in the post-oil period. Four of the clans that the British resident considered among the most influential during the 1920s supplied two thirds of the government’s cabinet members during the 1960s and 1970s. These same four clans provided almost one third of the directorships of the country’s largest shareholding companies in the same period.

The ruling coalition reinforced its position in the first 15 years after independence by laying the groundwork for a society in which private consumption would constitute the primary economic activity. The government subsidized a wide range of essential goods, created well-paid positions in the public sector for all Kuwaiti nationals unable to find work in the private sector, and encouraged speculative investment in urban property. [1] The cost of this last program alone accounted for more than half of the state’s development spending by fiscal 1964. [2] At the same time, the state took the lead in setting up two publicly controlled commercial investment companies, whose combined capital holdings in 1982 had reached almost 110 million Kuwaiti dinars, and a somewhat smaller national industrial investment company, having an available capital of more than 24 million dinars by 1982. [3] Four large commercial banks, a government-owned savings bank and a state-controlled insurance company were also established during the 1960s. These institutions provided the country’s rulers with both a means of ensuring the greatest possible return on Kuwait’s rapidly-increasing oil revenues and of regulating the scale and direction of local economic growth.

As the richer merchant houses became more involved in enterprises associated with the state, Kuwait’s staple agriculture and seafaring occupations — fishing, pearling and shipping — collapsed. By 1961, farming was limited to approximately 250 hectares in the villages immediately surrounding Kuwait City and in scattered oases such as Magwa and al-Fahahil. As the decade went by, even these farms were put out of production by the continual expansion of the capital and its suburbs. [4] These smallholdings began to be supplanted by larger commercial enterprises that produced fruits and vegetables not only for Kuwait itself but also for markets in southern Iraq. But this agricultural expansion lasted barely ten years. Between 1974 and 1977, land under cultivation dropped from a peak of almost 7,300 hectares to less than 2,500 hectares. At the same time, the number of independent farmers rose from around 431 to 488.

Fishing fared somewhat better during the early 1960s. As Kuwaitis took up work in the petroleum sector, Iranian and Omani laborers were hired by local fishermen to operate their boats. The relatively low cost of these workers enabled a small number of shipowners to survive the transition to capital-intensive fishing operations. Growing demand for fish pushed local prices up, and by 1970, rising profits began to attract foreign companies. Competition within the industry increased, leading not only to diminished returns for smaller local proprietors but also to the over-exploitation of the country’s primary fish and shrimp producing zones. The three largest locally owned fishing companies merged in 1971, forming United Fisheries of Kuwait. The state owns 47 percent of its outstanding shares.

Manufacturing Sector

Increasing oil revenues and the ruling coalition’s concentration on commerce and finance opened up opportunities for smaller manufacturing firms to establish themselves during the 1960s. By 1965, concerns employing fewer than ten persons each made up 87 percent of all manufacturing firms in the country and provided work for almost one third of Kuwait’s work force. They produced mainly food products, clothing and furniture. Establishments employing fewer than five workers each proliferated between 1965 and 1973. Their share of the work force stood at 19 percent in 1965; in 1973 they accounted for more than 25 percent of Kuwait’s workers. During the same period, the number of large manufacturing firms (employing more than 50 workers each) remained unchanged, while their proportion of workers fell from around 46 percent to 40 percent.

Four broad trends thus shaped the class basis of Kuwaiti politics by the mid-1970s. The ruling family and its commercial allies concentrated on obtaining the highest possible rates of return on the country’s petroleum revenues through foreign investment. The richer merchant houses continued to dominate commercial affairs. They were able to use their position in the larger state-supported trading enterprises to control the distribution of imported goods to local firms. The commercial sector showed little change as oil revenues climbed.

Second, farming in Kuwait took on an entirely new character. Large-scale commercial enterprises gradually disappeared, and small-scale, owner-operated holdings once again became the predominant form of agricultural organization. The primary focus of these operations returned to local subsistence rather than regional exports.

Third, the Kuwaiti fishing industry also became organized differently. During the 1960s, fishing and shrimping changed from labor-intensive to capital-intensive activities. By the mid-1970s, this industry had become consolidated into a single, overarching enterprise and also initiated a program of both vertical and horizontal expansion that increased both its size and its profitability. But serious problems emerged — especially depletion of the country’s limited marine areas and growing levels of industrial pollution.

Finally, the manufacturing sector split into an expanding collection of relatively small firms and a set of much larger state-supported enterprises whose operations stagnated or even contracted before 1973. In an effort to reverse this trend, the government sponsored an Industrial Bank in 1974, which paid particular attention to the needs of larger manufacturers.

Structural Trends

Three politically significant trends have been evident within Kuwaiti society since the mid-1970s. The first involves the structure of the manufacturing sector, which today comprises a much smaller proportion of small-scale firms. The expansion of large-scale enterprises has been accompanied both by the growth of a substantial class of professional Kuwaiti administrators and managers and by a decrease in the proportion of Kuwaiti nationals in service and other middle-level positions. Non-Kuwaitis are filling the expanding number of positions of salaried laborers. Also, more and more firms are being set up or reconstituted as joint-stock enterprises rather than as individual proprietorships. Parallel trends are evident in the trade and construction sectors, which have also seen a marked shift of Kuwaiti labor out of lower-level and into upper-level positions and a jump in the number of non-Kuwaiti manual workers. Finally, the service sector of the economy has grown substantially, with non-Kuwaitis the largest component of the labor force at both the lower and the upper positions. These trends have changed the class relationships that underlie political affairs in the principality.

Between 1973 and 1975, the number of firms having 50 or more employees grew by more than 46 percent, while the number of workers employed by these firms increased by more than 40 percent. Firms employing fewer than five workers, and the number of people so employed, rose by only 13 percent. By 1975, the large firms accounted for almost the same proportion of establishments and employees as they had in 1965, reversing the relative decline experienced between 1965 and 1973.

Those who controlled Kuwait’s larger firms began hiring greater numbers of non-Kuwaitis during the late 1970s. From 1965 to 1975, the number of Kuwaiti nationals in the work force increased at almost exactly twice the rate for non-Kuwaitis. In the later 1970s, the number of Kuwaiti workers grew by only a little more that 17 percent, while the size of the non-Kuwaiti labor force jumped by more than 80 percent. This contravened the regime’s program of developing a local work force composed primarily of Kuwaiti citizens. But expatriate workers directly benefited those who managed the country’s private industrial enterprises and who profited from the use of low-wage labor.

This trend incorporated considerable upward mobility among Kuwaiti nationals in manufacturing. In 1975, less than 24 percent of the Kuwaiti workers in manufacturing firms occupied professional, administrative and clerical positions; almost 68 percent of Kuwaiti workers were classified as laborers in the industrial census of that year. By 1980, professional, administrative and clerical workers constituted more than 40 percent of Kuwaitis involved in manufacturing, while laborers made up only about 54 percent. The expansion of manufacturing from 1975 to 1980 left a larger number of Kuwaitis among the industrial work force, but the greater proportion of Kuwaitis entered better-paid and higher-status managerial positions. Kuwaitis were able to improve their occupational positions in the trading and construction sectors as well.

As the number of Kuwaitis in trade and construction fell off, non-Kuwaitis entered these sectors in massive numbers. By 1980, there were 6,500 more immigrant workers employed as manual laborers in retail and wholesale commerce than there had been in 1975, while more than 54,000 additional expatriate laborers were working in the construction sector. Non-citizens had comprised 95 percent of the service workers and laborers in the trading sector in 1975; they made up 98 percent of these workers by 1980. Similarly, more than 99 percent of the service workers and laborers employed in construction were non-Kuwaiti by 1980, up from 94 percent five years earlier. The greater number of immigrant workers coming into the trade and construction sectors did little to alter the distribution of non-Kuwaiti labor across occupational categories within these two sectors. Virtually identical proportions of these workers were employed in professional, administrative and clerical positions in 1980 as had been the case in 1975.

These trends accompanied the gradual displacement of individually owned enterprises. Their proportion among all businesses fell from almost 82 percent in 1975 to 76 percent five years later. The proportion of limited liability companies rose from 5 percent of the country’s business establishments to almost 9 percent. The proportion of partnership and shareholding companies increased at a less marked rate.

Political Challenges

Changes in the structure of Kuwaiti industry after 1975 created two political challenges to the country’s dominant coalition. The rise of a new stratum of professional and administrative employees affiliated with the larger firms made it increasingly difficult for the regime to regulate private sector investment by means of restricting access to credit. Speculation began to play a major role in domestic accumulation. The two most important arenas for speculative investments during the late 1970s were real estate and the stock market. Lands provided to private investors at nominal cost were quickly turned over for greater and greater profits. In the stock market, government officials could not prevent the growth of the unofficial market in offshore stocks, the Suq al-Manakh. By the summer of 1982, local investors had poured almost 30 billion dinars into this market. Most of those involved in the Suq were, by Kuwaiti standards, small investors whose relatively limited resources would not allow them to become active on the official stock market. [5]

By investing in real estate and private shareholding companies, the nouveaux riches gave the ruling coalition a strong disincentive to invest in productive Kuwaiti enterprises. As speculation drove up the price of urban property, state financial officers turned to overseas investments. By putting oil revenues into American and West European ventures, the government ensured that its own activities did not end up benefiting those forces challenging the established economic order. There was a dramatic reduction in the level of public support for domestic industrial and commercial projects. Beginning in the mid-1970s, the income derived from overseas investment constituted a growing proportion of the state’s revenues. More than 27 percent of total public monies came from this source by 1980.

Secondly, the nouveaux riches became increasingly well-entrenched during the late 1970s. At the time of the 1975 industrial census, only 617 Kuwaitis were listed as employers — less than one percent of more than 93,000 local businesses. By April 1983, a process of consolidation and shakeout had reduced the total number of establishments to 17,253, but Kuwaitis accounted for 4,625, or 27 percent of these. [6] These entrepreneurs amassed for themselves considerable fortunes operating independent import-export enterprises or local dealerships associated with multinational firms, rather than from increased government expenditures and close ties with the state. At the same time, the regime’s policy of investing overseas undercut its control over the domestic economy. An increasing proportion of foreign investment income was going into the hands of private investors rather than to the government’s treasury. This shift perhaps more than any other added to the precarious position in which Kuwait’s dominant coalition found itself around 1982.

Worker Opposition

At the same time that the new rich were beginning to challenge the established tribal and commercial elite, Kuwait’s workers started to become active politically. Faced with growing competition from expatriate labor at the lower levels of the occupational ladder, indigenous workers began turning their social clubs and trade union federations into political associations. These organizations offered not only a public forum in which to express opposition to the regime’s labor and investment policies, but also a basis for mobilizing collective action.

At the time the National Assembly was dissolved in 1976, these associations were active in disseminating anti-regime literature, organizing demonstrations, and establishing contact with the more radical members of Parliament. Among the organizations most vocally opposed to dissolving the assembly were the General Federation of Kuwaiti Workers, the Lawyers’ and Teachers’ Unions, the General Federation of Kuwaiti Students and the Istiqlal Club. [7]

The increasing extent of political activism was accompanied by a limited outbreak of violent protest which the government attributed to radical Arab expatriates. The civil war in Lebanon in 1975-1976, Syria’s intervention there in 1976, and the Egyptian regime’s overtures toward Israel in 1977-1978 created deep divisions among various Arab communities resident in the country. These tensions led to several waves of deportations during the second half of the decade.

In late July 1978, some 2000 Indian construction laborers walked off their jobs demanding higher wages. When management refused to accede to their demands, the strikers rioted and the Kuwaiti police responded with force. [8] During the fall of 1979, unrest spread to the Shi‘i expatriate community; Iranian nationals demonstrated in support of the Islamic Republic, and a crowd of around 2,000 people attempted to march on the US Embassy during ‘Ashura that November. There were official Kuwaiti reports that substantial quantities of arms were being smuggled into the country. [9] By 1979, both diplomatic and economic issues were generating some active opposition to the regime’s policies among Kuwaiti workers and expatriate laborers alike.

Political Conflict and the State

1980-1981 marks a crucial turning point. Four significant shifts in state policy altered the terrain for struggle among the country’s most powerful social forces. First, the government started to allocate greater amounts of assistance to local agriculture, helping to revive this sector and reorient it from subsistence toward cash-crop production for export and internal consumption. Second, there was a shift toward greater investment in domestic industry at the expense of overseas investments. Third, the state began to direct greater resources to agencies responsible for internal and external security. Finally, the regime in early 1981 reestablished the National Assembly, thereby transferring some measure of responsibility for economic policy to forces beyond the inner circle. Taken together, these measures represent a program to reconsolidate the regime’s political position. But as the level of oil revenues has continued to decline and the Gulf war shows no signs of abating, this program may become less viable.

During the 1970s, Kuwait allocated virtually nothing to the agricultural sector. Farm production stagnated. Between 1976 and 1980, the area of cultivated land under production remained almost constant. [10] Agriculture constituted a social and political backwater at the height of the boom in oil revenues. Since 1980-1981, the amount allocated to this sector, although still relatively small, has grown regularly. [11] New areas of cultivation have opened up, particularly in the governorates of al-Ahmadi and al-Jahra. In 1980/81 alone, the number of farmers working on their own account jumped from 535 to 1,325. [12] The government’s program of support for small-scale agriculture, initiated in fiscal 1980-1981, appears to have played a key part in reviving this sector of the country’s economy.

This shift in state expenditures represented one move in a broader regime effort to cement relations with Kuwait’s smallholding bedouin population. Accompanying this was a marked reduction in welfare monies to communities having large numbers of working-class expatriates. Between 1981 and 1983, the payments provided to families living in Hawalli and al-Fahahil, two of the larger centers of expatriate workers, were cut by more than 18 percent. Welfare payments to families in Jahra, Faylaka and Sulaybikhat, three of the country’s major bedouin districts, rose by almost 11.5 percent during the same period. [13]

Just prior to the re-establishment of Kuwait’s National Assembly in February 1981, the country’s electoral districts were reapportioned in ways that augmented the voting strength of the settled tribespeople at the expense of other working-class and less well-off non-bedouin citizens. This reapportionment resulted in a significant increase in the number of bedouin representatives and a dramatic decrease in the number of Shi‘is. The former constituted 56 percent of the representatives elected in 1981, up from 50 percent in the 1975 parliament. Shi‘is made up only 8 percent of the 1981 assembly, down from 20 percent in the previous body. [14]

At the same time they were courting bedouin support, Kuwait’s rulers began to pay greater attention to domestic industrial investment. The 1979-1980 state budget allocated almost 20 million dinars to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, nearly ten times the amount the previous year. The Ministry of Planning was given a comparable increase. A smaller, but still notable, rise in funding went to the Shu‘ayba Industrial Board. All of these raises have been augmented in subsequent years. [15]

The regime also created two new institutions to supervise and coordinate the expansion of domestic manufacturing. The Industrial Promotion Committee was given wide-ranging authority to issue licenses, impose tariff restrictions, and regulate the relations between new firms and domestic suppliers and customers. [16] The government also set up the Kuwait Finance House to administer government-sponsored loans to new industrial concerns. Among the most ambitious of these projects was the construction of two new industrial cities: Fintas and Subiya. [17] In 1984, this institution was superseded by the Industrial Investment Company, a joint concern involving the Industrial Bank of Kuwait and the country’s four largest commercial banks.

As the number and value of domestic industrial investments in Kuwait grew after 1980, the level of overseas government investments declined. Similarly, the amount of government revenue added to the regime’s Fund for Future Generations peaked in 1980-1981 and has declined steadily in subsequent years. Government assets of 320 million dinars in outside investments in 1980 fell to 73 million dinars in 1983. Income from overseas investments, more than 2.1 billion dinars in 1981, brought in only 1.4 billion dinars two years later. [18] This income still represented more than 45 percent of the government’s total revenues in fiscal 1983-1984, due to the drop in oil revenues after 1980. The state thus found itself in the paradoxical position of deemphasizing the one component of its overall economic program capable of providing the greater revenues it needed to promote domestic industry.

In addition to these new economic policies, state officials adopted heightened security measures. In the fall of 1979, the regime enacted a new law limiting the size of public meetings to 20 persons and authorizing the police to attend all gatherings, whether public or private. The law also imposed a curfew on public processions and demonstrations after sunset. [19] At about the same time, the government instituted compulsory military service for male citizens over the age of 18, and in early October laid down procedures for a general mobilization of the country’s armed forces. [20] The following July, in the wake of a series of explosions at Iranian institutions in the capital city, the regime merged Kuwait’s internal security and military forces into a single operational unit, and sharply increased defense spending. [21] Defense expenditures have grown consistently in every subsequent fiscal year.

The Political Arena

The growing strength of Kuwait’s nouveaux riches and the greater potential for class-related conflict within Kuwaiti society led in two quite different ways to the reestablishment of the National Assembly in early 1981. Professional and administrative personnel continued pushing for a greater policymaking role after the dissolution of Parliament in 1976. As the regime’s hold on domestic affairs started to weaken at the end of the 1970s, demands for new elections became increasingly hard to resist. By the winter of 1980-1981, not even those established commercial interests who most strongly objected could prevent the government from acceding to the opposition’s call.

Furthermore, the regime became more convinced of the utility of an elected parliament as a means of legitimizing policy. The substantial funds needed for candidacy and the gerrymandering of electoral districts insured that working-class and middle-level professional voices would be largely absent. Parliament offered an arena in which the components of the dominant coalition could articulate their differences and forge some compromise. Thus the assembly’s agenda during its first months included discussions of the restrictions on the press and women’s right to vote. [22] Most important was the series of debates concerning the direction of state investment policies. These discussions ended up strongly endorsing the government’s increased support of domestic industry. The National Housing Authority announced, for instance, that the great majority of new housing construction contracts would henceforth be reserved for local companies. [23]

But the National Assembly has become more than an instrument the dominant coalition can use to work out its internal disagreements. The Suq al-Manakh crash in August 1982 precipitated heated debates over the government’s responsibility toward the heaviest losers. Many members of the ruling family insisted that the nouveaux riches should be forced to repay their outstanding debts in full. Representatives of the professional and administrative class argued that the government should bail out those who had lost most heavily. They pointed to the precedent in 1977 when, in response to a similar situation involving the official stock market, the-state allocated 150 million dinars to help stabilize trading on the official exchange. [24] Some demanded the resignation of the minister of finance on the grounds that the government had been negligent in its duty to regulate trading on the unofficial market to begin with.

These arguments were ignored at first by the ruling coalition, and there were no wholesale rescue measures. But by the end of 1983, state officials had begun to work out a compromise relief package. The state ended up salvaging a majority of the smaller investors who had lost their fortunes, despite the opposition of influential members of the established merchant families. [25]

As its inability to control either the terms or the outcome of debate within the National Assembly became increasingly evident, the regime undertook to revise Kuwait’s constitution in ways that would more narrowly circumscribe the Assembly’s autonomy. In December 1982, the palace proposed 17 amendments to the constitution. One amendment enabled the ruler to issue decrees with the force of law under undefined “exceptional circumstances.” A clear majority in the assembly opposed this measure. Faced with concerted opposition, the government withdrew the amendments in mid-May 1983. [26] Thus, after having allowed the recreation of the National Assembly in an effort to harness and undercut opposition forces, the ruling coalition has found state institutions subject to the growing political influence of richer professional and administrative factions.

The Future of the State

As commercial and industrial forces within Kuwaiti society are becoming more polarized into upper-level administrative and managerial personnel on the one hand and largely expatriate clerical and service workers on the other, and as the position of small-scale manufacturing enterprises continues to weaken, two dynamics are influencing Kuwait’s future political development. In response to the growing challenge of the professional and administrative nouveaux riches to the regime’s control over such established state institutions as the National Assembly, the larger public investment companies and the government-owned commercial and industrial enterprises, the ruling coalition is enlarging the size and scope of the central administration. These two dynamics are transforming the character of the Kuwaiti state: It is no longer merely an adjunct of the country’s ruling families but is a central element of political life in its own right.

In the February 1985 parliamentary election, more than half of the incumbent representatives failed to win reelection. Many of these were replaced by others with equally strong ties to the regime. But seats were also won by a diverse group of politicians sharing social reformist ideas similar to those of the Nasserist movements of the late 1950s. [27] These delegates, calling themselves the Democratic Alliance, appear to favor greater state intervention as a more promising means of achieving social justice than the workings of private enterprise, whose failures were epitomized in the collapse of the Suq al-Manakh. [28]

As a result of its Suq al-Manakh rescue program, the government has acquired a substantial interest in as many as 15 of the 45 offshore firms traded on this market. [29] This has brought the state into an area of the economy previously almost entirely beyond its control. In February 1984, the government created an investment company with assets of $1 billion to supervise the disposal of the property confiscated from those driven into bankruptcy. This company redistributed the value of the forfeited stock shares and real estate holdings among creditors in the form of shares in the new investment company itself; it then offered a portion of the remaining shares for public sale. [30] By this means, state officials expect not only to recoup the funds they have spent to ameliorate the effects of the crash, but also to introduce greater regulation into speculative activities.

Increasing state intervention seems to be on the agenda of both Kuwait’s ruling coalition and its most powerful domestic challengers. But the resources available to government officials are shrinking. The war between Iran and Iraq has reduced oil deliveries and other commercial transactions in the northern end of the Gulf. The glutted international oil market continues to cut into the state’s primary source of revenue. These circumstances by themselves would not likely upset Kuwait’s political stability. When they are conjoined with the internal struggles that currently characterize Kuwaiti politics, however, such crises limit the capacity of the rulers to fend off their opponents. Under these circumstances, the regime’s domestic political position begins to appear precarious indeed.

Author’s Note: Joel Beinin and Karen Pfeifer offered a variety of suggestions that improved this essay considerably.


[1] Jacqueline S. Ismael, Kuwait: Social Change in Historical Perspective (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1982), pp. 103-104, 121; Hazem Beblawi, The Arab Gulf Economy in a Turbulent Age (London: Croom Helm, 1984), p. 166.
[2] State of Kuwait, Ministry of Planning, Central Statistical Office, Annual Statistical Abstract 1968, pp. 113-115.
[3] Statistical Abstract 1984, p. 250.
[4] H. Bowen-Jones, “Agriculture in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE,” in May Ziwar-Daftari, ed., Issues in Development: The Arab Gulf States (London: MD Research and Services, 1980), p. 54.
[5] Rodney Wilson, Banking and Finance in the Arab Middle East (New York: St. Martin’s, 1983), p. 173.
[6] Statistical Abstract 1984, pp. 127-128, 132.
[7] Middle East Contemporary Survey 1976-77, pp. 342-343.
[8] Middle East Contemporary Survey 1977-78, p. 429.
[9] Middle East Contemporary Survey 1979-80, p. 403.
[10] Statistical Abstract 1984, pp. 145, 151, 238, 239.
[11] Ibid., p. 245.
[12] Ibid., p. 147.
[13] Ibid., p. 345.
[14] Ahmad J. Daher and Faisal Al-Salem, “Kuwait’s Parliamentary Elections,” Journal of Arab Affairs 3 (Spring 1984), p. 95.
[15] Statistical Abstract 1983, pp. 238-239; 1984, pp. 242-243.
[16] “Government Pushes Industrial Development,” Arab Economist 12 (June 1980), p. 31.
[17] The Middle East and North Africa 1984, p. 479.
[18] Statistical Abstract 1984, pp. 240-244.
[19] Middle East Contemporary Survey 1979-80, p. 404.
[20] The measure empowered the state to call up those conscripted into the military reserve, as well as to require expatriates to register with the minister of the interior. Ibid., p. 405.
[21] Middle East Contemporary Survey 1980-81, p. 477.
[22] Ibid., p. 475.
[23] The Middle East and North Africa 1984, p. 479.
[24] Wilson, pp. 173-174.
[25] Wilson, p. 175; New York Times, February 18, 1983.
[26] Washington Post, May 25, 1983.
[27] See K. Celine, “Kuwait on Its Nerves,” MERIP Reports 130 (February 1985), p. 12.
[28] Los Angeles Times, February 22, 1985.
[29] New York Times, December 25, 1982.
[30] Wall Street Journal, February 28, 1984.

How to cite this article:

Fred H. Lawson "Class and State in Kuwait," Middle East Report 132 (May/ June 1985).

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