Kuwait, unlike most of its neighbours, has a well-established national identity and a long history as a nation, dating back to the eighteenth century. In this book, first published in 1992, Dr. Jill Crystal focuses on two recurring themes in Kuwaiti history: one, the preservation of a sense of community in the face of radical economic, social and political transformations; the second, internal rivalry over the conventions governing relations among members of the community. Crystal skilfully weaves these themes into a broad profile of Kuwait, analysing the nation’s transformation from a pre-oil to an oil economy; its social structure and composition, including the country’s tribal roots and key divisions involving class, gender and immigrant labour; political tensions resulting from the nation’s sudden wealth and the accompanying changes in social structure; and its relations with other countries in the Gulf and the Middle East.
1. Introduction 2. History 3. The Oil Economy 4. Kuwaiti Society 5. Political Institutions and Processes 6. Foreign Policy 7. The Aftermath of the Invasion