International Institutions of the Middle East: The GCC, Arab League, and Arab Maghreb Union, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

International Institutions of the Middle East

The GCC, Arab League, and Arab Maghreb Union, 1st Edition

By James Worrall


192 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This volume is a key text for understanding the major regional international organizations of the Middle East. Analysing the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Arab-Maghreb Union in a concise and accessible format, it explores their successes and failures across their full range of activities (economic, social, and political), while contextualising the reasons why many consider that these organizations have stalled.

The book:

- assesses the reasons why IOs in the Middle East are under-developed relative to neighbouring regional organizations;

- explores their history, evolution, and structure, while considering the successes and failures of each IO;

- analyses the reasons for the specific difficulties faced by each organization through the context of intra-regional relations;

- develops a new framework for analysing the forces that have shaped these bodies and challenges the existing narrative that largely ignores the achievements and prospects of the organizations;

- considers the likely impact of the Arab Spring upon the future development of these frequently overlooked regional international organizations.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Middle East studies, international organizations, and global governance, as well as diplomats and policymakers


'James Worrall has produced a classic here! With so much international attention on the MENA region and the crisis of state and society at its Arab core, it is surprising that no substantial and systematic analysis of the main structures of the regional system – its key institutions – has been available in one volume. This substantial study addresses that shortcoming, I believe, bringing together the conceptual tools for deciphering MENA regionalization as well as the rich empirical data for understanding it. Dr Worrall shows that these institutions matter and do have a role to play in shaping the region’s fortunes. I will certainly want a copy of this book by my side. '- Anoush Ehteshami, Durham University, UK

'In this clear, accessible and yet exhaustive volume the author does an excellent job of highlighting the genesis, evolution and principal features of the major international organizations in the Arab speaking world. He does so in a sympathetic and yet probing manner advancing the literature on regionalism and regionalization. This book is a must read for all students of international relations of the Middle East and will prove very useful for everyone interested in international relations more widely" Matteo Legrenzi, Associate Professor, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, President of the Italian Association for Middle Eastern Studies (SeSaMO) 2013-2016.' - Matteo Legrenzi, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy

'Worrall has produced a rigorous and scholarly work that adds to our knowledge and understanding of the three institutions in focus - the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League and the Arab Maghreb Union. More than that, he offers a valuable comparative examination of some of the major institutions at the heart of the contemporary Arab world. A timely and welcome study.' - Rory Miller, Professor of Government, Georgetown University, Qatar

'This important and timely volume will provide immense practical value to scholars and policymakers as a tool to contextualize and analyze rapidly-changing regional developments across the Middle East and North Africa in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.' - Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East, Rice University's Baker Institute, USA

Table of Contents



1. Context and Framework

2. The Arab League, Structures and Evolution

3. The Arab League, Peace and Security

4. The Arab League, Economic, Social, and Cultural Co-operation

5. The Arab League, Problems and Prospects

6. The GCC, Structures and Evolution

7. The GCC, Security, Peace, and Defense

8. The GCC, Economic, Social, and Cultural Co-operation

9. The GCC, Problems and Prospects

10. The Arab-Maghreb Union

11. The Arab League and GCC in the Arab Spring


Select Bibliography

About the Author

James Worrall is Associate Professor in International Relations and Middle East Studies, in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds, UK. His research interests lie in the broad fields of Security Studies and International Relations with a primary geographical focus on both the Gulf and the Levant. The thematic focus of his work explores Western relations with the Arab World, Gulf Politics and Security, Regional International Organizations, Counterinsurgency, Civil Wars, Post Conflict Reconstruction (especially Security Sector Reform), and Regime Stability and Legitimacy in non-democratic states. He has published widely on these themes in journals such as Third World Quarterly, Middle Eastern Studies, and Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. His previous volumes include: Statebuilding and Counterinsurgency in Oman: Political, Military and Diplomatic Relations at the End of Empire and (with Simon Mabon and Gordon Clubb) Hezbollah: From Islamic Resistance to Government.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General