Although Britain’s formal imperial role in the smaller, oil-rich Sheikhdoms of the Arab Gulf – Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates – ended in 1971, Britain continued to have a strong interest and continuing presence in the region. This book explores the nature of Britain’s role after the formal end of empire. It traces the historical events of the post-imperial years, including the 1973 oil shock, the fall of the Shah in Iran, and the beginnings of the Iran–Iraq War; considers the changing positions towards the region of other major world powers, including the United States; and engages with debates on the nature of empire and the end of empire. The book is a sequel to the author’s highly acclaimed previous books Britain’s Revival and Fall in the Gulf: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States, 1950–71 (Routledge 2004) and Ending Empire in the Middle East: Britain, the United States and Post-war Decolonization, 1945–1973 (Routledge 2012).
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Trials of Independence, 1971–1972 2. The Oil Revolution, 1973 3. Challenges and Opportunities, 1974–1977 4. Revolution and Reaction, 1978–1979 5. War and Peace, 1980 6. The Empire Strikes Back? 1981 Conclusion: Imperialism after Empire?
Simon C. Smith is Professor of International History at the University of Hull, UK.