From Protected State to Protection Racket: Contextualising Divide and Rule in Bahrain
Journal of Arabian Studies | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2016
Bahrain’s Royal Family, the Al Khalifa, has long pursued a strategy of divide and rule in order to prevent the emergence of cross-opposition coalitions, while exacerbating the country’s sectarian divide has become a critical means of ensuring regime survival. This article examines the country’s twentieth century imperial and post-independence history through the framework of divide and rule theory, providing crucial context for current events in Bahrain. It demonstrates how a divide and rule strategy is structurally embedded within the ruling family’s mode of governance, and reveals how it continues to be employed as an effective means of maintaining absolute monarchy in Bahrain.