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Karamet Watan: An Unsuccessful Nonviolent Movement

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This article seeks to explain the failure of the 2012–14 Kuwaiti reform movement Karamet Watan. We compare Karamet Watan with two previous reform movements in Kuwait: Nabiha Khamsa in 2006 and Irhal in 2011. All three movements were nonviolent, which Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan have shown to be associated with the success of reform movements. We argue that Karamet Watan differed from the earlier movements in its choice of goals; its choice of tactics, especially the boycott of parliamentary elections; and the regional context. Our findings help illustrate the challenges facing political reform movements in Kuwait, the obstacles to further movement toward greater political participation, and the conditions under which reform might succeed in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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