Risk Management Report: Kuwait
Kuwait has been governed by the Al-Sabah family since the 18th century. It gained independence from Britain in 1961; a new constitution written that year confirmed the hereditary monarchy, but gave significant powers to an independent judiciary and an elected assembly. The emir – currently Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah – retains final say, and political parties are banned. But the 50-member assembly has proven vibrant, and Kuwaiti politics the most participatory in the Gulf. The downside of this experiment in partial democracy has been the constant friction between the elected parliament and the appointed government, which has often resulted in paralysis of the state.