Compared with the international norm, Gulf monarchies have unusual flexibility in granting and revoking nationality. This practice has risen sharply since the 2011 Arab uprisings. Under the social contracts underpinning the ruling families’ legitimacy, citizenship is framed as a gift rather than a basic human right, and can be revoked on suspicion of disloyalty.
- Opposition to citizenship stripping will strain relations between Gulf states and Western countries.
- The Qatar boycott will further erode the tenuous notion of pan-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizenship rights.
- A struggle over citizenship rights could eventually lead to a push for democratisation.