The International Politics of the Persian Gulf

Monday, July 18, 2011

Edited By: Mehran Kamrava

Publisher: Syracuse University Press 2011
Language: English
Paperback: 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-8156-3280-1

Product Description

For much of the contemporary history of the Middle East, the Persian Gulf has stood at the center of the region’s strategic significance. At the same time, the Gulf has been wracked by political instability and tension. As far back as the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Britain zeroed in on the Persian Gulf as a critical passageway to its crown jewel, India, and entered into protectorate agreements with local ruling families, thus bestowing on them international legitimacy and, eventually, the resources and support necessary to ascend to kingships. Today, the region is undergoing profound changes that range from rapid economic and infrastructural development to tumultuous social and cultural transformations. Far from eroding the area’s political significance, these changes have only accentuated rivalries and tensions and have brought to the forefront new challenges to international security and stability.

Together, the essays in this volume present a comprehensive, detailed, and accessible account of the international politics of the region. Focusing on the key factors that give the Persian Gulf its strategic significance, contributors look at the influence of vast deposits of oil and natural gas on international politics, the impact of the competing centers of power of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the nature of relationships among countries within the Persian Gulf, and the evolving interaction between Islam and politics. Throughout the collection, issues of internal and international security are shown to be central.

Drawing on the comprehensive knowledge and experience of experts in the region, The International Politics of the Persian Gulf shines a bright light on this area, offering insights and thoughtful analyses on the critical importance of this troubled region to global politics.

"In this outstanding volume, the editor has assembled an all-star cast to provide an up-to-date assessment of the causes and consequences of the security challenges facing the Persian Gulf states. The text provides important historical and regional context, including the legacy of border disputes that continue to bedevil the region."—Lawrence G. Potter, Deputy Directory, Gulf/2000 Project


1. The Changing International Relations of the Persian Gulf
Mehran Kamrava

2. Sovereignty and Boundaries in the Gulf States
J.E. Peterson

3. Security Dilemmas in the Contemporary Persian Gulf
Fred H. Lawson

4. Foreign Policy in the GCC States
Steven Wright

5. GCC Perceptions of Collective Security in the Post-Saddam Era
Joseph Kostiner

6. American Policy toward the Persian Gulf
Mohammed Ayoob

7. Regional Consequences of Internal Turmoil in Iraq
Daniel Byman

8. Saudi Arabia’s Regional Security Strategy
F. Gregory Gause, III

9. Iranian Foreign and Security Policies in the Persian Gulf
Mehran Kamrava

10. China, India, and the Persian Gulf
N. Janardhan

11. Political Reform and Foreign Policy in Persian Gulf Monarchies
Katja Niethammer

About the Author

Mehran Kamrava is director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Iran’s Intellectual Revolution and The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War.

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