Christopher M. Davidson
British academic specializing in Middle East politics, political economy, and international relations.

AVAILABLE NOW: print and e-book from
Oxford University Press

TWITTER: follow the author @dr_davidson  / Book discussion #afterthesheikhs / Arabic discussion



The Independent: "So what is the secret of their survival?  There are numerous reasons. The support
of Western powers, oil wealth and an effective secret police are among them. But in this exceptionally
argued book, Christopher Davidson concentrates on the prime reason..."

The Guardian: "It is almost 40 years since the publication of Fred Halliday's landmark book Arabia
without Sultans. Now, in the wake of the Arab spring, another young British academic has written an
important account of prospects for the Gulf region, calling his study
After the Sheikhs...  Orientalist
special pleading doesn't get a look in. This is an unsentimental story of hard-nosed political

The Economist: "He sets out his scenario of monarchical doom with authoritative and often riveting detail. He shows how the rulers of the six countries under his gaze—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE—have managed to keep their people under control."

Huffington Post: "After the Sheikhs is detailed and erudite and reveals the Gulf States' extraordinary
survival strategies in their domestic and external spheres. It is extraordinary how these tiny states by
investing in sports events, landmark buildings, universities...  and of course armaments, shut down
avenues of criticism. It is difficult to question the GCC's woeful human rights record when they are
creating British jobs."

Foreign Policy Association: "Dr. Davidson offers a bleak analysis of the Gulf monarchies and what the future has for them in store based on facts and his longstanding research work on these regimes and the dynamics of their relationships with the outside world. In After the Sheikhs Dr. Davidson puts on display his disagreement with those in the West who argue Gulf monarchies have weathered the storm due to effective economic policies, and argues that the social and political legitimacy of Arab monarchies is on a downward spiral, a deciding factor in what he sees as their eventual fall."

Bloomberg:  "Christopher Davidson, an astute observer of politics in the Gulf, describes in his
important new book,
After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies, the various
ways in which the Gulf monarchies have continued to buy respite from internal and external

"...The book will surely become known as a kind of starter pistol for the region’s much needed political reform. The stakes couldn’t be higher - for the Gulf monarchies themselves, their cynical backers in the West and, most importantly, for the men and women who have lived under absolute monarchy all their lives, and dream of a more democratic, pluralist future."


"Britain and the US are uncritical friends of the hereditary Gulf rulers; but what if they are likely to
collapse, as Christopher Davidson convincingly predicts? It would be folly to ignore the writing on
the wall for these insatiably greedy elites; Davidson’s warning should be on the desk of every Foreign
Office Minister." - Lord Avebury, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group

After the Sheikhs Christopher Davidson argues that the Gulf regimes will be gone – at least in their
current form – within the next two to five years. Although the demise of the Gulf regimes has long
been announced, Davidson’s audacious prediction should not be lightly dismissed. The dynamics he
analyses and the facts he has gathered, based on long-term observation of the region, provide
tantalising clues that profound change may indeed be at close hand." - Dirk Vandewalle, Associate
Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

After the Sheikhs is a book of tremendous value. It applies a rigorously constructed theoretical
framework to a rich array of empirical data in order to assess the long-term survivability of some of
the world’s last authoritarian holdouts. For anyone interested in understanding the post-2011 Middle
East, this is essential reading." - Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and
Regional Studies, Georgetown University, Qatar

"Repression, government-promoted personality cults, and Disney-fied attempts at what Davidson calls 'reorientalization' both insult dignity and reveal a hollowness in these regimes few suspected twenty years ago, when many hoped for and a few anticipated their democratic transformation into constitutional monarchies" - Mary Ann Tetreault, Cox Distinguished Professor Emerita of International Affairs, Trinity University

"At a time when the Gulf Kingdoms arrogantly boast of having avoided the fate of their neighbours in
the revolutions of the Arab Spring, this book provides a convincing counter-narrative and a powerful
warning to rulers who treat their countries as personal fiefdoms." - Waleed Abu Alkair, Head of
Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia

"Genuine political participation, social justice, freedom and human rights in the context of full
citizenship have become everyday terminology in the Gulf over the last couple of years. And although
the total collapse of deep-rooted monarchies is not envisioned, in the long run parliamentary
constitutional monarchies could prevail in the region. Christopher Davidson has written an important
book, but only time will tell whether its thesis plays out." - Ahmed Mansoor, human rights activist
and former political prisoner, UAE

"Davidson demonstrates his foresight and relevancy in his bold predictions of the imminent collapse
of Gulf monarchies made before and during the so-called Arab Spring. This book must be read by
every Western policymaker betting on the status quo in the GCC, by every pro-democracy activist
struggling to realise Davidson’s predicted outcome, and by every GCC citizen dreaming of a better
future but made to fear the worst if change was to come." - Ala’a Shehabi, writer, pro-democracy
activist, founder, Bahrain Watch