Desirable Security Model for the Persian Gulf: Competitive or Cooperative Security?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Author: Mahsa Mahpishanian

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Asrar-e Danesh
Publication date: 2014
Language: Persian
ISBN: 978-964-986-070-1

Book Description

Persian Gulf, as a subregion of the Middle East, has been among the most sensitive and most important regions in the world and one of the main centers of international relations, and has been also among the most important regions of the world from geopolitical, geostrategic, and geoeconomic viewpoints. As a result, it has been always faced with insolvable and risky disputes, arms race as well as ethnic and religious violence and any form of political and economic developments in this region will echo globally. This is why security of this region can be considered as the gravity center of international security. Therefore, establishing a suitable mechanism to maintain sustainable security in the region in view of the existing obstacles and challenges is considered a major concern, which has both regional and international dimensions.

At present, regional security system in the Persian Gulf is witnessing a weak balance of power, which in turn, hinges on a “foreign balancer,” or in better words, a “foreign hegemonic power,” in the form of the military presence of the United States in the region, which plays the role of the stabilizing power in the face of Iran. Of course, the United States has never proposed to serve as a permanent substitute for local security arrangements in the Persian Gulf region. This is why a desirable security system, which would be able to settle or at least contain local differences, is so important.

In view of the above facts, the present book first explains major obstacles and challenges to establishment of sustainable security in the Persian Gulf region, before making an effort to answer the following main question:

· What and how is the model of desirable regional security for the Persian Gulf?

The proposed theoretical and practical models of regional security; the attitude and approach of important regional powers to regional security; as well as the trends and challenges that are related to regional security are all among secondary questions to be addressed.

Major premises in this book are as follows:

1. Due to the absence of a comprehensive approach to regional developments and lack of participation by all countries, and also due to intense rivalry among them, local interactions in this region have not been successful in shaping a common structure for regional convergence;

2. Absence of mutual trust, absence of common institutions and lack of common understanding of collective identity; the experience of three wars between 1980 and 2003; and absence of a collective security system combined with a permanent feeling that a new war is imminent, have all caused the Persian Gulf to be constantly in an unstable state of balance of power with no real success in promoting regional cooperation.

At the same time, following the main and secondary questions mentioned above, the main hypothesis is put forth as follows:

· Establishing a model of regional cooperation on the basis of the “cooperative security” model could be a desirable model, which can be based on an integrated political identity, sustainable interactions, mutual dependence in various fields, mutual trust, as well as common norms and ideas and internal security. Such a model will not only boost convergence among countries in the Persian Gulf region, but also lead to negation of foreign domination and fighting against the US and Israel's hegemony in this region.

On the whole, in this book, we seek to offer an analysis, which would go beyond usual pessimistic studies on regionalism in the Middle East; studies, which believe that any measure taken to create a regional order is doomed to fail.

Table of contents

General outlines

Chapter 1: History, order and importance of region

History of the Persian Gulf region

Various periods of regional order

A. British order (1918-1971)
B. Iranian – Saudi order (1971-1979)
C. American order (1979 up to the present time)

Arab revolutions and Persian Gulf

Importance of the Persian Gulf from various viewpoints

A. Geopolitical position
B. Geoeconomic position
C. Geostrategic position
D. Geocultural position

Various aspects of Iran’s regional position

Chapter 2: Regional security complex in the Persian Gulf

Regional security complex

Persian Gulf as a security complex?

Security of the Persian Gulf from viewpoint of main regional powers

A. Security of the Persian Gulf: An Iranian view
B. Security of the Persian Gulf: A Saudi view
C. Security of the Persian Gulf: An Iraqi Iranian view
D. Security of the Persian Gulf: An American view

Obstacles and challenges to the Persian Gulf security

A. Border and territorial disputes
B. Structural heterogeneity
C. Religious diversity

Chapter 3: Definitions and theoretical fundaments

Basic concepts

A. Security
B. Security regime

Theoretical fundaments

A. Realistic viewpoints (realism)
B. Liberal viewpoints
C. Constructivist viewpoints (critical theory)
D. Beyond conventional theories

Chapter 4: Experiences of other regions and proposed models

Experiences of other regions

A. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
B. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
C. Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Proposed models

Chapter 5: “Cooperative Security,” a desirable model for the Persian Gulf region

Indexes of the present security environment in the Persian Gulf

A new look: The necessity of dealing with security problems in the region

Cooperative security

Persian Gulf and cooperative security model

Solutions for establishing cooperative security in the Persian Gulf region

A. Mutual understanding
B. Confidence building
C. Recourse to Islam
D. Avoiding sectarianism
E. Eliminating negative mentalities
F. Taking advantage of regional economic capacity
G. Boosting economic convergence
H. Peaceful settlement of disputes
I. Non-interferences in one another’s internal affairs
J. Establishing an arms control regime

Roundup and conclusion

About the Author

Mahsa Mahpishanian holds a doctorate in political science and has already written the following books:

· Peace studies: Introducing concepts, scope and theories
· Soft war in media and cyber space: Comparative study of the United States’ soft war against Iran in traditional and modern media
· United States’ solutions and strategies for cyber war (in cooperation with Foad Izadi)

More By Mahsa Mah-Pishanian:

*Iran-Saudi Geopolitical Rivalry and Future Security Equations in Middle East:

*Arab Revolutions and US Recourse to Cold War Strategies:

*Photo Credit: Geographic Guide

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