A golden opportunity for Middle East autocrats?

Bucerius Fellow Tobias Zumbrägel and his co-author Thomas Demmelhuber analyse the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Middle East:

“In the Middle East and North Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding across a political and social map that has been undergoing a process of reorganisation since the start of the Arab uprisings. Although different circumstances prevail in the various countries – ranging from the wealthy nations on the Arabian Peninsula to nation-states torn apart by civil wars – this pandemic will confront the region with huge and lasting challenges, producing tectonic changes as a result. Change relevant to the region may be observed on three levels: (1) the international level, with China as the "medical gravity centre"; (2) the regional level, with countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continuing to strive for regional hegemony; and (3) the national level, with the fight against COVID-19 offering some autocrats new leverage in their ongoing efforts to consolidate their power.”