One of Friday's mass marches for the release of detained human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja
In the wake of increasing street violence in Bahrain—a far cry from the peaceful rallies of February and March 2011 — the Bahraini regime is attempting to restart dialogue with the opposition. Initiated by a leading representative of the ruling dynasty’s hardliners, Royal Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the dialogue involves pre-conditions that the opposition is unlikely to accept — most notably the acceptance of the 2002 constitution which has deprived parliament of any meaningful power — and has yet to convince the opposition of its sincerity. If started, the dialogue will have difficulty in achieving genuine rapprochement, as the political scene has undergone increasingly prevalent fragmentation. In this environment, describing the actors simply as “the regime” and “the opposition” becomes problematic.