The Diwaniyya: guestroom sociability and bureaucratic brokerage in Kuwait

James Clyde Allen Redman
<span title="2014-09-16">2014</span>
This dissertation is about men's guestrooms (sing. diwaniyya; pl. diwaniyyat or dawawin) in Kuwait and their place in the nation's unique welfare compact with its citizens. The central question guiding this research is unambiguous: Why do Kuwaiti men visit the dawawin? The answer, it is argued, lies in the nature of the distributive rentier arrangement in contemporary Kuwait that has allowed for the unprecedented expansion and utilization of these guestrooms. It is the position of this study
more &raquo; ... t the creation of an inflated, underperforming bureaucracy tied to an intricate system of patronage and brokerage extending downward throughout the state from the ruling Al Sabah dynasty has created the conditions wherein actors must provide their own inroads if they are to tap into the government's vast resources. However, given the opaqueness of the Kuwait state system, the personalization of offices and institutions, and the imbalanced distribution of oil rents throughout the community, knowledge of precisely who to contact for what ends has become a regular nightly activity. Coupled with the benefits of luxury employment and subsidies that have bolstered discretionary incomes, hosting and visiting to foster and reinforce ties to governmental largess has become institutionalized in ways that have transformed these customary male guestrooms into indispensible marketplaces for facilitatory support.
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