Kristin Smith Diwan
Senior Resident Scholar
@kdiwaniya
kristin.diwan@agsiw.org
Kristin Smith Diwan is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. Her current projects concern generational change, nationalism, and the evolution of Islamism in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Her analysis of Gulf affairs has appeared in many publications, among them Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, and The Washington Post.
Diwan was previously an assistant professor at the American University School of International Service and has held visiting scholar positions at the George Washington University and Georgetown University. From 2013-14 she served as a visiting senior fellow at the Atlantic Council where she published on youth movements and participated in the Strategic Dialogue for a New US-Gulf Partnership.
Diwan received her PhD from Harvard University and holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University in Texas, her home state.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
Abraham Accords Face Early Test
Kristin Smith Diwan May 24, 2021
Israeli expansionism in East Jerusalem and the attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque prompt sharp condemnation and popular support for Palestinians from Gulf signatories to the Abraham Accords.
SOCIETY
Videos
Keep the Faith: Mohammed bin Salman’s Message to Saudis
Kristin Smith Diwan May 3, 2021
On April 27, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sat down for a television interview five years after the announcement of Vision 2030.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
All the Kings’ Sons
Kristin Smith Diwan Apr 9, 2021
Recent leadership transitions in the Gulf monarchies are crystallizing a trend toward direct lineage and away from fraternal succession, consolidating decision making and centralizing state power.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Videos
U.S.-Saudi Relations: How To Work With, and Rein In, Mohammed bin Salman
Kristin Smith Diwan and F. Gregory Gause, III, PhD Apr 7, 2021
Kristin Smith Diwan sat down with F. Gregory Gause III to discuss his March 30 piece for Foreign Affairs, “The United States Is the Last Check on MBS’s Power.”
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
The Khashoggi Case in Biden’s Strategy and U.S. Policy Direction
Kristin Smith Diwan Feb 26, 2021
The Biden administration preserves space for statecraft, yet honors Khashoggi’s memory by punishing activity against Saudi dissidents abroad.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
Why the Saudis Ended the Dispute With Qatar
Kristin Smith Diwan Feb 8, 2021
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s youth ambitions are behind the entry – and exit – from the Qatar standoff.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Videos
AGSIW Outlook 2021
Geneive Abdo, Ali Alfoneh, Kristin Smith Diwan, Hussein Ibish, Robert Mogielnicki, Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman and Emma Soubrier Jan 19, 2021
AGSIW experts explain what regional trends they’ll be following most closely as the year unfolds.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
Kuwaitis Vote for Change
Kristin Smith Diwan Dec 8, 2020
Kuwait’s elections resulted in a nearly two-thirds turnover in the National Assembly. Still any reform program hinges on the selection of the leadership of Parliament and new government and their ability to forge a common national agenda.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
Death of Bahrain’s Prime Minister Promotes Reformer, But Perhaps Not Reforms
Kristin Smith Diwan Nov 18, 2020
The death of the traditional and uncompromising Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa clears the way for the reformist crown prince to head the government. Still, state and financial security will continue to top Bahrain’s priorities.
POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
Blog Post
Kuwait’s Patient Statesman
Kristin Smith Diwan Sep 29, 2020
The death of Kuwait’s emir, Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, marks the passage of a seasoned diplomat, cunning politician, and valued humanitarian. Will his successor preserve Kuwait’s democratic political culture and independent foreign policy?
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