My previous research topic is the democratization of Arab Gulf states in the Middle East, where power is concentrated in the hands of monarchs and other royalty. I have conducted field studies mainly in Kuwait and Bahrain, where I observed the activities of members of parliament in elections and during sessions of parliament. Based on the information I collected, I have written about the processes underlying parliamentary politics, in which parliamentarians organize and form political parties or parliamentarian bolcs and compete and cooperate with one another, using an analytical framework of the party system institutionalization.
I have also examined the role of moderate Islamism in the gradual transition of power that led to increased political participation of the people under monarchies as well as the establishment of a party cabinet system, referring to the historical experiences of prewar Japan and Northern European countries for comparative analyses.
Since the Arab Spring, I have shared the results of collaborative research on the power base of Arab monarchies, the “judicialization of politics,” in which the decisions of the constitutional court influence the political process, and accountability in authoritarian regimes.
Current research projects
While continuing to observe elections and parliamentary activities in Arab Gulf states, my present research focuses on the following two topics.
One is the social transformations occurring as Arab Gulf states work to realize their National Visions. I am comprehensively examining various related fields under development policies, such as education reform that emphasize the adaptation of young citizens into the labor market, promotion of social and economic engagement of youth and women, support for their entrepreneurship and innovations. I pay particular attention to changes in decision-making processes that occur with social transformation.
My other research topic concerns the effects of accountability on the robustness of democratization or authoritarian regimes. From this viewpoint, I am comparing authoritarian regimes and emerging democracies in terms of political processes surrounding anti-corruption policies and the establishment of anti-corruption agencies.
I present my research outcomes as often as possible while conducting joint research projects on these topics.
Keywords: election, parliament, democratization, authoritarian regime, accountability[[Please note that no other entry in this series has keywords; please double check whether these are needed.]]