GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
The Emerging Interventionists of the GCC
Paper Proposal Text :
There is a shift occurring within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in which new regional leaders are emerging, buoyed by a decade of unprecedented wealth generation from the 2000s commodi- ties boom and increased foreign investment. Specifically, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have emerged as activist states in their interest and willingness to intervene both militarily and financially in the politics of neighbouring Arab states. Contrary to their collective and individual foreign policies of the last 40 years, the GCC states have intervened in each other’s domestic poli- tics and in the domestic politics and revolutions of the wider Middle East and North Africa region. While Saudi Arabia enjoyed a period of dominance among its Gulf Arab neighbours for many years, even occasionally threatening the borders of Qatar and the UAE, the prevailing policy of Gulf states has been non-interference and support for Arab leaders, as a principle of religion and politics. In essence, the evolving nature of interventionism in the GCC is moving away from Saudi dominance towards the emergence of new actors willing to engage in the region and on the international stage. We can trace this policy shift through the simultaneous yet separate evolution of domestic, regional and international political economy. This paper argues that shifts in leadership at the national levels have coincided with larger trends in the regional and international economy which have enabled different, yet both assertive, interventionist foreign policies to emerge from Qatar and the UAE. The result is a moment of financial and military interventionism unprecedented in Arab Gulf politics.