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Generation and Democratic Transition in the GCC:
A Prospective Study of the Demographic Changes

Hasan A. Johar ,Ph.D
Departemant of Political Sciences
Kuwait University


Abstract


GCC Countries are undergoing rapid shifts in demographic composition with steady population growth. Total population is expected to reach 80 million by the end of the century. One of prominent features of these demographic changes is the annual expansion of young generations from 18-30 years, which will constitute at least 65% of demographics over several decades.
The study analyses possible generational modifications that push younger segments towards trans-national information technology and open aspirations. Local governments encounter serious challenges in maintaining lasted high standards of living. While oil prices are declining, huge investments are required to satisfy the needs of massive numerical small age groups. Security risks within and without the region with their potential escalations in the future must be closely watched.
Most of Gulf states suffer major political vacuum in the era of globalization. Overlapping cultures, information revolutions, increasing demand for popular participation led by youth movements impose a new political reality similar to what was reflected during the Arab spring in 2011-2012. The future requires effective containment of such intellectual audacity which also has the ability to move on the ground very fast.
The paper finally reviews possible scenarios for the future prospects of democratic transition in the light of demographic shifts. The main argument is how to make life better and more stable in the Gulf countries. Sustainable investment in human resources in addition to the utilization of the democratic experiment are significant key factors in facing unprecedented challenges during the globalization and post globalization era.
Key Words: Democracy, Political Participation, Gulf Cooperation Council, Youth.

 

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