Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in National Security Studies


Political Science

First Reader/Committee Chair

Bichler, Gisela


Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are changing the way people learn, do business, build relationships, and manage their lives. ICT allow easy and continuous access to open source intelligence (OSINT) that acts as force multipliers, enabling civilians to find new and more effective ways to participate in civil society and address disempowering strategies implemented by governments around the world to maintain stability. ICT and OSINT cultivate fluid intelligence and adaptive governance and can act as a catalyst to cultivate these capacities to transform conflict. The research question sought to determine whether fluid intelligence (cognitive ability to adapt and innovate) and adaptive governance (leadership and systems that work together with the governed to create favorable outcomes) are correlated with stability in gulf monarchies in the Middle East. This thesis examined the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, and the Sultanate of Oman using a complex adaptive systems analytic framework that drew upon the theories of adaptive governance and fluid and crystallized intelligence. Group grievance often indicates levels of stability in civilian populations. This study revealed a strong correlation between adaptive regimes with fluid populations and stability. Populations high in fluid intelligence in adaptive monarchical regimes had lower group grievance, but populations high in fluid intelligence in non-adaptive monarchical regimes had higher group grievance.