Dr. Matthew Hedges

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IAIS Building/LT2

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Dr Matthew Hedges: Reinventing the Sheikhdom. Clan, Power and Patronage in Mohammed bin Zayed's UAE

An Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies seminar
Date26 January 2022
Time17:00 to 18:30
PlaceIAIS Building/LT2

As part of this term's Visiting Speakers series, the Centre for Gulf Studies is delighted to host the book launch of our colleague Dr. Matthew Hedges.

Though the Arab Spring has reverberated through the Middle East, the relative calm in the United Arab Emirates has offered a regional roadmap for stability. While Khalifa bin Zayed succeeded his father as Emir of Abu Dhabi and UAE president in 2004, the Emirates’ evolution since then has largely been accredited to Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed.

His reign has been characterised by the rise of the security apparatus and a micromanaged approach to governance. Mohammed bin Zayed’s strategy of fortification has focused on pre-empting threats from the UAE’s native population, rather than from expatriates or foreign actors. As a result, he has consolidated power, distributing its administration among his tribal and kinship allies. This book explores Mohammed bin Zayed’s regime security strategy, illustrating the network of alliances that seek to support his reign and that of his family. In an ever-turbulent region, the UAE remains critical to understanding the evolution of Middle Eastern authoritarian control.


Dr. Matthew Hedges is an academic focusing on authoritarian regimes, with an emphasis on the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula. While conducting fieldwork research for his PhD in the UAE, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment under the charge of espionage. He was awarded his doctorate by Durham University. He is currently a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Exeter.


Tea and coffee will be served in the IAIS Common Room at 4.15pm.


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