Michael Herb is Assistant Professor in the Political Science department at Georgia State University.
Taking a broadly comparative approach, Dynastic Change explores the mechanisms employed as well as theoretical and practical approaches to monarchical legitimisation. The book answers the question of how monarchical families reacted, adjusted or strategised when faced with dynastic crises of various kinds, such as a lack of a male heir or unfitness of a reigning monarch for rule, through the consideration of such themes as the role of royal women, the uses of the arts for representational and propaganda purposes and the impact of religion or popular will. Broad in both chronological and geographical scope, chapters discuss examples from the 9th to the 18th centuries across such places as Morocco, Byzantium, Portugal, Russia and Western Europe, showing readers how cultural, religious and political differences across countries and time periods affected dynastic relations.
Bringing together gender, monarchy and dynasticism, the book highlights parallels across time and place, encouraging a new approach to monarchy studies. It is the perfect collection for students and researchers of medieval and early modern monarchy and gender.
In The Wages of Oil, Michael Herb provides a robust framework for thinking about the future of the Gulf monarchies. The Gulf has seen enormous changes in recent years, and more are to come. Herb explains the nature of the changes we are likely to see in the future. He starts by asking why Kuwait is far ahead of all other Gulf monarchies in terms of political liberalization, but behind all of them in its efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. He compares Kuwait with the United Arab Emirates, which lacks Kuwait’s parliament but has moved ambitiously to diversify.
This data-rich book reflects the importance of both politics and economic development issues for decision-makers in the Gulf. Herb develops a political economy of the Gulf that ties together a variety of issues usually treated separately: Kuwait's National Assembly, Dubai's real estate boom, the paucity of citizen labor in the private sector, class divisions among citizens, the caste divide between citizens and noncitizens, and the politics of land.