In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt (the quartet) enacted a diplomatic, economic, and physical blockade of Qatar. Gulf politics has always been fractious, but this stunning political gambit took everyone – Qatari leaders, scholars, the international community – entirely by surprise. The quartet assailed Qatar with a litany of charges mostly relating to its support of a motley array of sub-state actors across the Middle East. However, few out with the quartet thought that Qatar’s purported crimes warranted such a unique and all-encompassing punishment. The blockade ended in January 2021 just as it began – out of the blue – without any obvious instigating factors.
The puzzle of the Gulf blockade and its myriad impacts are examined in this volume, which benefits from certain distance. It builds upon early analyses to offer a range of crisp, insightful reflections, many based on new primary sources. The chapters take a multidisciplinary and diverse theoretical approach to the crisis. In this way, the blockade is evaluated from multiple novel angles presenting the most rounded analysis of one of the most surprising and impactful events in the contemporary diplomatic history of one of the world’s key strategic crossroads.
The chapters in this book were originally published in the Journal of Arabian Studies.
Table of Contents
David B. Roberts
1. Ontological Security and the Gulf Crisis
David B. Roberts
2. Society and State in Post-Blockade Qatar: Lessons for the Arab Gulf Region
3. Nationalism and Identity in Qatar after 2017: The Narrative of the New National Museum
Jocelyn Sage Mitchell and Mariam Ibrahim Al-Hammadi
4. European Policies Towards the Gulf: Patterns, Dynamics, Evolution, and the case of the Qatar Blockade
5. The Regional Implications of the Gulf Crisis
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
6. The Blockade Against Qatar: A Blessing in Disguise?
Alexis Antoniades, Rafia Al-Jassim and Khalique Gharatkar
David B. Roberts is Associate Professor in the School of Security Studies at King’s College London and Adjunct Faculty at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po. Previously, David was Director of the Gulf office of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security studies think-tank (RUSI Qatar). He is the author of Continuity Amid Change in the Gulf Monarchies (2022), Qatar: Securing the Global Ambitions of a City State (2017), and dozens of academic articles focusing primarily on the international affairs, politics, and security of the Gulf monarchies.