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A nation must think before it acts.
More than three after the beginning of the Arab Awakening, it appears that the upheavals have, by and large, left the Gulf monarchies intact. While several dictators have fallen— from Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt and Gaddafi in Libya to Saleh in Yemen— monarchies across the region have shown considerable survival skills. But is this purported resilience likely to last even as the Arab Awakening continues to shake the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, or are the monarchs next in line now that the “presidents for life” have met their demise? This article explores the various ways in which Gulf monarchies have experienced political and social mobilizations associated with the Arab Awakening and then analyzes the characteristics that have allowed these countries to weather the storm, focusing on both pre-existing structural and cultural factors, as well as political responses to the unfolding regional protests.