1st Edition

The Small Gulf States Foreign and Security Policies before and after the Arab Spring

Edited By Khalid Almezaini, Jean-Marc Rickli Copyright 2017
    236 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    236 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Small states are often believed to have been resigned to the margins of international politics. However, the recent increase in the number of small states has increased their influence and forced the international community to incorporate some of them into the global governance system. This is particularly evident in the Middle East where small Gulf states have played an important role in the changing dynamics of the region in the last decade.

    The Small Gulf States analyses the evolution of these states’ foreign and security policies since the Arab Spring. With particular focus on Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, it explores how these states have been successful in not only guaranteeing their survival, but also in increasing their influence in the region. It then discusses the security dilemmas small states face, and suggests a multitude of foreign and security policy options, ranging from autonomy to influence, in order to deal with this. The book also looks at the influence of regional and international actors on the policies of these countries. It concludes with a discussion of the peculiarities and contributions of the Gulf states for the study of small states’ foreign and security policies in general.

    Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the unique foreign and security policies of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) before and after the Arab Spring, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Middle East studies, foreign policy and international relations.

    Introduction – Khalid Almezaini and Jean-Marc Rickli

    1. Theories of Small States’ Foreign and Security Policies and the Gulf States – Jean-Marck Rickli and Khalid Almezaini

    2. The Changing Security Dynamics in the Middle East and its Impact on Smaller GCC States’ Alliance Choices And PoliciesVictor Gervais

    3. Gulf Security Policy after the Arab Spring: Considering Changing Security Dynamics – Andreas Krieg

    4. The United States and its Key Gulf Allies: A New Foundation for a Troubled Partnership? David Goldfischer

    5. Iran and the GCC Sheikhdoms – Shahram Akbarzadeh

    6. Oman’s Independent Foreign Policy - Abdullah Baabood

    7. Evolving Foreign and Security Policies: A Comparative Study of Qatar and the UAE – Emma Soubrier

    8. Risk Diversification and the UAE Foreign Policy – Leah Sherwood

    9. Gulf States’ Engagement in North Africa: The Role of Foreign Aid – Lisa Watanabe

    Conclusion – The Foreign Policies of the Gulf Small States: An Exception in Small States’ Behaviours? Khalid Almezaini and Jean-Marc Rickli


    Khalid Almezaini is Lecturer at Qatar University and a Visiting Research Fellow at LSE. Prior to joining Qatar University, Almezaini taught Middle East Politics at the universities of Exeter, Edinburgh and Cambridge. His research interests range from international relations, Middle East politics and security to foreign aid and political economy.

    Jean-Marc Rickli is Lecturer at the Department of Defence Studies of King’s College London and at the Qatar Joint Command and Staff College in Doha. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. His previous appointment includes Assistant Professor at the Institute for International and Civil Security at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

    This edited collection on the smaller Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ international relations shows that small is not a barrier to ambition or performance. Indeed, smallness – for all the images of vulnerability that it conjures up – is also an asset when it comes to policy nimbleness. Furthermore, the authors in this volume also show that smallness rarely inhibits policy choices. The cases of Oman, Qatar and the UAE, on which the collection focuses, illustrate fully the flexibility that comes with small size. But the authors also draw attention to the barriers that a small state cannot, by itself at least, overcome. Theoretically rich, the editors chart new ways in which we can analyse the conduct of small states in the international arena. Anoush Ehteshami, Professor of International Relations and Director of the HH Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah Programme at Durham University.