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Rasd Launches Its First Study on Bahraini Authorities "Ramadan" Speeches

2020-05-06 - 10:02 am

Bahrain Mirror: Rasd Centre for Studies and Political Researches launched its first study on the Bahraini authorities' "Ramadan" speeches, entitled: States' Speeches are Only Words. It is a comprehensive analysis of the speeches of the three power poles represented by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, during the last month of Ramadan 1440 Hijri year (May 6 to June 3, 2019).

It is worth mentioning that Rasd Centre was established in London at the end of 2019. It prepares studies and research related to the Gulf reality at the political, social, economic and other levels.

The center relied in its study, the "Ramadan" speeches, which included three main chapters, on a descriptive scientific methodology aimed at analyzing the content of a "specific" sample of speeches from various media, amounting to 31 speeches, including 6 speeches for the King, 8 for the Prime Minister and 17 for the Crown Prince, as part of several analytical categories classified according to considerations based on the form, content and communicator; "the person who delivered the speech" based on the theories of speech analysis and "framing".

The study aimed mainly at monitoring the extent to which the speeches of the state correspond to the aspirations of the public, being a supposed partner in decision-making, on the one hand, and with the living reality on the other, as well as how it expresses the projects, approaches and its agenda, being a decision-maker.

The month of Ramadan was specifically chosen, due its specificity on the social and political, both official and popular, communications. Besides, this event is characterized by events, meetings and councils that have become important stations for communication and platforms for dialogue and the presentation of various issues and topics.

The study made several conclusions, most notably that the majority of the letters of the Bahraini authority for the last month of Ramadan were for the crown prince by more than 50 % (17 out of 31 letters), considering his known "approved" annual visits for a number of Ramadan councils. It was also revealed that the Crown Prince visited 50 councils, 8 councils for royal family members, 42 for well-known families, including 27 councils for "Sunni" families, and 15 for "Shiite" families.

The study showed that the majority of the authority speeches were delivered within the framework of the Ramadan councils (60%), all given by the Crown Prince, followed by the palace, iftar banquets, and then certain areas.

The results also showed that the majority of the speeches focused on political, economic and development topics, and that the most prominent issues addressed by authority poles were (security and stability of the region, Gulf support for Bahrain, praise of the legislative authority, support of counter-terrorism efforts, support for development efforts and plans, and the values of social communication). However, the speeches missed pressing domestic issues such as the political crisis that has erupted in the country since 2011 and its repercussions at various levels.

According to the results, the majority of the authority's speeches were addressed to a general audience (18 out of 31 speeches), compared to 13 speeches targeting a private audience.

With regard to the speeches objectives, it was revealed that most of them focused on praise, guidance, media, thanks and prayer. In classifying the quality of speeches, the results showed that the majority (60%) were civil, compared to 28% factual speeches and 12% official speeches. Regarding the time addressed by the speeches, it turns out that most of them focused on issues related to the present, the future, and least of all the past.

Based on the general findings and details, the study concluded that the Ramadan speeches of the Bahraini authority represented propaganda messages the "State" promotes to its citizens, in order to intensify the evidence in thoughts and to softly contain the minds, albeit in the context of misinformation and concealment of the facts, given the amount of its contradiction with the living reality, which confirms the distance of the content from popular aspirations.

The authority has also framed the topics raised in its speeches to pass its agenda and serve its media-declared objectives according to a system of priorities that reflect its current concerns, as well as to mobilize public opinion towards certain visions and positions (change/influence).

Accordingly, the study made several recommendations to the authority: listening to the public, implementing promises, continuing revision and evaluation and intensifying field visits. It also made recommendations to the national opposition forces: to study the authority's speeches, periodically monitor the strategic agenda and visions and issue pro-truth statements. Rasd Centre recommended the public to strengthen oversight and accountability, transfer popular demands, and examine the effects of authority speeches.

Arabic Version