Gulf Roundtable: Eyes on Bahrain
The unrest raging in Bahrain is hardly surprising. The Bahraini uprising feeds on old political tensions, according to Kristin Smith Diwan, professor of international relations at American University's School of International Service, and is part of a genuine call for a more representative government. Fred Wehrey, senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, believes the discontent is more narrowly rooted in the struggle between Sunni rulers and the Shi'a opposition. Shi'a are the majority of Bahrain's inhabitants and suffer the lion's share of political and economic hardship. Both scholars agree that domestic and regional dynamics preclude meaningful political reform. They shared their insights at a Gulf Roundtable hosted by the CSIS Middle East Program on March 8, 2011.