"The theoretical debates on security and international relations are illuminated here by in-depth examination of the case of the Gulf, by some of the best established and younger scholars in the field. Thematic analyses on sovereignty, security, and the link to domestic politics sit side by side with case studies of the foreign relations of the GCC states and Iran, with additional attention going to the significance of Iraq’s turmoil on the one hand, and the growing importance of Asia on the other. Whether for policy makers or for students and scholars of the international relations of the region, this is a must-have volume."—Gerd Nonneman, University of Exeter, UK
"In this outstanding volume, the editor has assembled an all-star cast to provide an up-to-date assessment of the causes and consequences of the security challenges facing the Persian Gulf states. The text provides important historical and regional context, including the legacy of border disputes that continue to bedevil the region. Particularly noteworthy is the comprehensive treatment of relations among all the littoral states, including Iran and Iraq, over the past few decades."—Lawrence Potter, Deputy Director, Gulf/2000 Project
"Chapter after chapter, one is treated to insights and commentary which clearly derive from deep immersion in, and full understanding of, this sub-region’s politics and inter-state relationships. Once you have this volume in your possession, you will not want to lose sight of it!"—Anoush Ehteshami, author of Globalization and Geopolitics in the Middle East: Old Games, New Rules
For much of the contemporary history of the Middle East, the Persian Gulf has stood at the center of the region’s strategic significance. At the same time, the Gulf has been wracked by political instability and tension. As far back as the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Britain zeroed in on the Persian Gulf as a critical passageway to its crown jewel, India, and entered into protectorate agreements with local ruling families, thus bestowing on them international legitimacy and, eventually, the resources and support necessary to ascend to kingships. Today, the region is undergoing profound changes that range from rapid economic and infrastructural development to tumultuous social and cultural transformations. Far from eroding the area’s political significance, these changes have only accentuated rivalries and tensions and have brought to the forefront new challenges to international security and stability.
Together, the essays in this volume present a comprehensive, detailed, and accessible account of the international politics of the region. Focusing on the key factors that give the Persian Gulf its strategic significance, contributors look at the influence of vast deposits of oil and natural gas on international politics, the impact of the competing centers of power of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the nature of relationships among countries within the Persian Gulf, and the evolving interaction between Islam and politics. Throughout the collection, issues of internal and international security are shown to be central.
Drawing on the comprehensive knowledge and experience of experts in the region, The International Politics of the Persian Gulf shines a bright light on this area, offering insights and thoughtful analyses on the critical importance of this troubled region to global politics.
Mehran Kamrava is director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Iran’s Intellectual Revolution and The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War.
6 x 9, 392 pages