Insecurity in the Persian Gulf
Troubled Waters looks at four dynamics in the Persian Gulf that have contributed to making the region one of the most volatile and tension-filled spots in the world. Mehran Kamrava identifies the four dynamics as: the neglect of human dimensions of security, the inherent instability involved in reliance on the United States and the exclusion of Iraq and Iran, the international and security policies pursued by inside and outside actors, and a suite of overlapping security dilemmas. These four factors combine and interact to generate long-term volatility and ongoing tensions within the Persian Gulf.
Through insights from Kamrava’s interviews with Gulf elites into policy decisions, the consequences of security dilemmas, the priorities of local players, and the neglect of identity and religion, Troubled Waters examines the root causes of conflicts and crises that are currently unfolding in the region. As Kamrava demonstrates, each state in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar, has embarked on vigorous security-producing efforts as part of foreign policy, flooding the area with more munitions—thereby increasing insecurity and causing more mistrust in a part of the world that needs no more tension.
Mehran Kamrava is Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of a number of books, including, most recently, Iran’s Intellectual Revolution and The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, 3rd edition. He is also the editor of The International Politics of the Persian Gulf, Innovation in Islam: Traditions and Contributions, The Political Economy of the Persian Gulf, and The Nuclear Question in the Middle East.
Small State, Big Politics
The Persian Gulf state of Qatar has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, virtually no potable water, and has been an independent nation only since 1971. Yet its enormous oil and gas wealth has permitted the ruling al Thani family to exert a disproportionately large influence on regional and even international politics. Qatar is, as Mehran Kamrava...