Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
The State of Kuwait is a hereditary emirate combining elements of absolutist and constitutional monarchy, which gained independence from Great Britain in 1961. Power is concentrated in the hands of the Emir, who is always chosen from the ruling family of Al-Sabah. Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al-Sabah has been the Emir of Kuwait since 9/30/2020. The Emir has executive power, which he formally exercises through the government cabinet. The cabinet is headed by the prime minister, who is chosen by the emir. In addition, the Emir has the power to dissolve the parliament, announces parliamentary elections, has the right to propose, prepare and ratify laws, appoints judges, confirms judgments and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Kuwait’s parliament is the National Assembly, which has 50 elected and 15 appointed cabinet members. The assembly is elected on the basis of direct election. Check equzhou to learn more about Kuwait political system.
The constitution adopted in November 1962 guarantees basic freedoms and declares Kuwait an Islamic country, where the source of legislation is the Koran and Islamic law (Sharia). However, in addition to Islamic legal principles, the country’s legislation also relies on some elements of British Common Law and French Civil Law. A fundamental moment for further domestic political developments in Kuwait is currently the long-term tension between the government and the parliament, which in recent years has repeatedly resulted in the resignation of individual ministers or the entire government. Parliament often also blocks important measures and important infrastructure projects. From the point of view of the national economy and economic development of the country, there are thus undesirable delays in the implementation of key projects that the country needs for its modernization and further economic development.
Foreign policy of the country
Kuwait is a small country located in the geopolitically turbulent region of the Middle East. Its geographical location in the northern part of the Gulf is strategically advantageous from the point of view of logistics and trade, but at the same time, the small state is surrounded by large and partly unstable neighbors. The security of Kuwait is guaranteed by the United States of America, whose military units have been permanently stationed in the country since the liberation of the country from the Iraqi army in 1991. The growing tension in the Gulf region also affects the foreign policy of Kuwait, which tries to maintain its traditional role as a neutral mediator of regional conflicts, to maintain good relations with all neighbors and not be part of coalitions or projects directed against specific states in the Gulf. Kuwait acted actively in the role of mediator between Qatar on the one hand and the alliance of Arab countries participating in the embargo against this country on the other. The relationship with Washington, as the main guarantor of Kuwait’s security, will remain key for the emirate. Relations with the EU, which is perceived very positively, especially as an economic partner, are also good in the long term. Kuwait was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2018-2019, and in this position was one of the mediators to end the conflict in Yemen and one of the main providers of humanitarian aid. Check recipesinthebox for Kuwait defense and foreign policy.
The population of Kuwait is million (2022), of which approx. million are Kuwaiti nationals (Kuwaitis) and approx. million are foreign nationals. The population density is approximately 200 inhabitants per square kilometer. By age, the most numerous group among Kuwaitis is the youth under 15 years of age (40%), approximately 57% of the population is of working age, and the population over 65 then makes up less than 3% of the total population. In percentage terms, the population living in Kuwait consists of Kuwaitis (30%), other Arabs (Egyptians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians, and others – 27%), Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, and others – 40%) and others population mainly from Africa, Europe and the USA (3%). A total of approximately million people are employed in Kuwait, of which 85% are foreigners. Most Kuwaitis work in the government sector, in the private sector, less than 20%. The Kuwaiti population mainly professes Islam of the Sunni direction (70%) and Islam of the Shiite direction (30%). Foreigners are mainly Sunni Muslims, Christians and Hindus.