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The Omani System as Syncretism between Constitutionalism and Islamic Tradition

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Keywords: Oman; Islamic Constitutionalism; Persian Gulf; Shura; Islamic Law.

This paper aims at analyzing the modern Omani political system, starting from its birth, in 1970, till the adoption of the Constitution in 1996. It also takes into account the constitutionalism of the Persian Gulf countries. Oman, in fact, is the latest country to have adopted a written Constitution: Administered for decades in a despotic way, this country has faced the enforcement of many reforms during the last century. Thus, the questions that arise are the following: does Oman struggle to adopt a westernized constitutional system? Or is it simply leading toward a syncretism that mixes European and Islamic constitutional principles? Through the strict analysis of those laws that define the Omani constitutional architecture, this paper tries to explain the trajectory the Sultanate is undertaking along the tricky road of democratization.

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