Half a century ago, Britain abandoned Aden, its last colonial outpost in the Arab world as its
attempt to establish a new polity foundered amid a rising tide of Arab nationalism, tribal
infighting and anti-colonial sentiment that eventually gave rise to the establishment of
South Yemen. Yet just over three years later in 1971, a new state, the United Arab Emirates,
emerged in Arabia, formed from the old Trucial states over which Britain had long held
sway. At a time when state failure and fragmentation has become synonymous with much
of the Middle East and where the very idea of sovereignty and legitimacy have become
contested issues, this comparative historical study of the varied British attempts at state
creation on the Arabian peninsula offers important insights into the limits of external ambition,
as well as the possibilities that great power retrenchment offered to the peoples of the
region. The legacy of British influence in Aden and Abu Dhabi still very much resonates
today; this volume explains why.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Middle Eastern Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Aden, South Arabia and the United Arab Emirates: a retrospective study in state failure and state creation 1. A triumph of realism? Britain, Aden and the end of empire, 1964–67 2. The missing link? Police and state-building in South Arabia 3. Explaining the triumph of the National Liberation Front 4. The Nasser factor: Anglo-Egyptian relations and Yemen/Aden crisis 1962–65 5. The North Yemen civil war and the failure of the Federation of South Arabia 6. Failure and success in state formation: British policy towards the Federation of South Arabia and the United Arab Emirates 7. Anglo-American relations over Aden and the United Arab Emirates, 1967–71 8. From union (ʾıttihad) to united (muttahida): the United Arab Emirates, a success born of failure 9. Aden and the Gulf: the reflections of a political officer
Clive Jones is Professor of Middle East Security at Durham University where he specialises in the history and politics of the Gulf and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and his book, Britain and the Yemen Civil War 1962–1965 (2004/2010) was the subject of a BBC documentary.
'Fifty years after Britain decided to abandon her formal and long-established positions in Aden and the Persian Gulf, it is fitting that this new study should re-examine the reasons for this hasty departure, which was to have such far-reaching effects on local, regional and world affairs. The contributing authors, drawn from both academic and diplomatic backgrounds, have drawn on their archival researches and experiences, to provide much-needed insights into this subject. This volume will be of considerable interest to those seeking an explanation of the nature of Britain's final departure from formal empire in the Middle East.' - Saul Kelly, King's College, London
'This scholarly and insightful volume is a fascinating addition to the literature on the recent history of a vital region. It shines a new light on the past and is an invaluable aid for those attempting to understand the political, ideological, territorial and military disorder in the region at present.' - Rory Miller, Professor of Government, Georgetown University, Qatar
'This unique volume, edited by Clive Jones, is a must-read for anyone wanting to have greater insights into the development of states in the Arabian Peninsula. It includes many dimensions of the new realities during a very formative era in Aden, south Arabia and the lower Gulf. Indeed, it offers many new perspectives that will need to be reckoned with by future generations of scholars. In tandem with the state building process in Aden, the UAE and south Arabia, the volume provides a detailed analysis of the role of the British, Arab-British relations and Anglo-American relations. It does a particularly good job of analyzing the interactions between regional and external powers in the region. The volume, which includes the work of such an accomplished line-up of scholars, will be an invaluable resource for any student, researcher or journali