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The Gulf Cooperation Council: Its Nature and Achievements

Alasfoor, Reyadh LU (2007)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Storbritannien beslutade sig 1968 för att lämna bakom sig sina koloniala intressen i Persiska gulfen senast 1971. Det brittiska beslutet ledde till att de arabiska gulfstaterna Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudiarabien, Qatar, Förenade Arabemiraten och Oman i sin tur började undersöka möjliga samarbetsformer för att möta en ny tids osäkerhet och hot. Ett stort problem efter det brittiska tillbakadragandet var dessa staters markerade militära svaghet och därav följande oförmåga att försvara sig mot eventuella aggressiva åtgärder. Länderna delar i mångt och mycket ett ekonomiskt, socialt och politiskt arv, och hamnade alla i rampljuset efter andra världskriget som en följd av mycket stora olje- och... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Storbritannien beslutade sig 1968 för att lämna bakom sig sina koloniala intressen i Persiska gulfen senast 1971. Det brittiska beslutet ledde till att de arabiska gulfstaterna Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudiarabien, Qatar, Förenade Arabemiraten och Oman i sin tur började undersöka möjliga samarbetsformer för att möta en ny tids osäkerhet och hot. Ett stort problem efter det brittiska tillbakadragandet var dessa staters markerade militära svaghet och därav följande oförmåga att försvara sig mot eventuella aggressiva åtgärder. Länderna delar i mångt och mycket ett ekonomiskt, socialt och politiskt arv, och hamnade alla i rampljuset efter andra världskriget som en följd av mycket stora olje- och gasfyndigheter.



Två års förhandlingar följdes den 25 maj 1981 av det högtidliga undertecknandet av stadgan för en ny regional politisk entitet, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), som på många sätt är ett nydanande experiment i arabvärlden.



Den förhandenvarande studien analyserar detta regionala samarbete i djupare detalj. Den har som syfte att spåra och analysera organisationens natur, och dess uppkomst i ett politiskt område där stammar traditionellt varit en central maktfaktor. GCC har särdrag som kräver vidare analys av dess struktur och grundande dokument; dess ekonomiska och politiska landvinningar; de utmaningar organisationen ställts och ställs inför; samt exogena faktorer som understödjer respektive hindrar dess integrativa målsättningar. Delvis som en följd av allt detta har arbetet även en ambition att diskutera de individuella medlemsstaternas säkerhetssituation.



Teoretiskt så etablerar arbetet ett ramverk som integrerar koncept och idéer från integrationsstudier, och som har relevans för studien om GCC och dess integrativa arbete. Tesen som förs fram efter att ha applicerat detta ramverk, är att GCC är en unik företeelse i den internationella miljön ? något bortom, eller kanske snarare mer elastiskt än, både en federation och en konfederation.



Empiriskt följs de historiska skeendena i och kring området under ett kvarts århundrade, närmare bestämt 1979-2004, för att ge tillräcklig tyngd åt de olika slutsatserna. (Less)
Abstract
When Britain decided, in 1968, to terminate its official colonial presence in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf as of 1971, this action prompted the Gulf Arab States (Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman) to start the search for a form of partnership that would bring them together to better cope with the insecurity and danger surrounding them and their regimes. A key problem after the British withdrawal has been the notable military weakness of these states and the inability to effectively defend themselves against aggressive action. The six states share a similar economic, social, and political system, and acquired marked geo-political importance after the conclusion of World War II as a result of the discovery of... (More)
When Britain decided, in 1968, to terminate its official colonial presence in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf as of 1971, this action prompted the Gulf Arab States (Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman) to start the search for a form of partnership that would bring them together to better cope with the insecurity and danger surrounding them and their regimes. A key problem after the British withdrawal has been the notable military weakness of these states and the inability to effectively defend themselves against aggressive action. The six states share a similar economic, social, and political system, and acquired marked geo-political importance after the conclusion of World War II as a result of the discovery of massive oil and gas reserves.



Following two years of negotiation, the states signed, on May 25, 1981 a charter creating a regional entity called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ? which turned out to be something of a unique integrative experiment in the Arab world. Its main objectives are a customs union and political cooperation; harmonization of policies; a common external tariff; and general integration within its specified cultural, geographical, economic, and political bounds.



The present study aims to analyze the regional cooperation and integration of these states. It is an attempt to trace the nature, emergence, and development of the GCC in a primarily tribal culture. It furnishes a description and exploration of specific aspects of the GCC: its structure and charter; its economic and political achievements; the challenges facing it; the factors that either enhance or hinder its ambitions. It is also an attempt to identify and discuss the security problems the member states face.



This study additionally advances a theoretical framework focusing on certain concepts stemming from existing integration theories that have applicability to the integration of the GCC. The dissertation suggests that the GCC is in fact unique; neither a federal or confederal, it represents an elastic entity and political framework.



Empirically, the study examines the GCC during the first twenty-five years of its existence (1979-2004), with the just stated aims to explore, explain, and analyze this integration effort in its specified cultural, geographical, political, and economic settings.



To aid our understanding of this integrative venture, several important questions revolving around the very concept of integration, are raised. For instance, what are the circumstances under which the GCC emerged? To what extent is integration projects elite-inspired and forged, and to what extent, if at all, is it grass-root inspired? What challenges are the member states facing when trying to achieve their objectives? What is the significance of the existence of a ?core? within this integration? What are the local integrative and disintegrative factors, and how do they operate to hinder or enhance the integration project? What general observations can this study engender in terms of past and present integration aspects with specific focus on locally, regionally, and globally generated supports and stresses? (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Prof. Bryder, Tom, Köpenhamns universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Political and administrative sciences, Politisk historia, Political history, Arabian Gulf, integrative and disintegrative factors, regional hegemons, integration, Tribal Structure, democracy, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap, Peace and conflict research, polemology, Freds- och konfliktforskning
pages
315 pages
publisher
Department of Political Science, Lund University
defense location
Auditoriet Kulturen
defense date
2007-10-15 10:15
ISBN
91-88306-67-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7ecbd1cd-3130-4d4c-a30a-484a4e190ea6 (old id 598955)
date added to LUP
2007-11-12 19:16:19
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:06
@misc{7ecbd1cd-3130-4d4c-a30a-484a4e190ea6,
  abstract     = {When Britain decided, in 1968, to terminate its official colonial presence in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf as of 1971, this action prompted the Gulf Arab States (Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman) to start the search for a form of partnership that would bring them together to better cope with the insecurity and danger surrounding them and their regimes. A key problem after the British withdrawal has been the notable military weakness of these states and the inability to effectively defend themselves against aggressive action. The six states share a similar economic, social, and political system, and acquired marked geo-political importance after the conclusion of World War II as a result of the discovery of massive oil and gas reserves.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Following two years of negotiation, the states signed, on May 25, 1981 a charter creating a regional entity called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ? which turned out to be something of a unique integrative experiment in the Arab world. Its main objectives are a customs union and political cooperation; harmonization of policies; a common external tariff; and general integration within its specified cultural, geographical, economic, and political bounds.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The present study aims to analyze the regional cooperation and integration of these states. It is an attempt to trace the nature, emergence, and development of the GCC in a primarily tribal culture. It furnishes a description and exploration of specific aspects of the GCC: its structure and charter; its economic and political achievements; the challenges facing it; the factors that either enhance or hinder its ambitions. It is also an attempt to identify and discuss the security problems the member states face.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This study additionally advances a theoretical framework focusing on certain concepts stemming from existing integration theories that have applicability to the integration of the GCC. The dissertation suggests that the GCC is in fact unique; neither a federal or confederal, it represents an elastic entity and political framework.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Empirically, the study examines the GCC during the first twenty-five years of its existence (1979-2004), with the just stated aims to explore, explain, and analyze this integration effort in its specified cultural, geographical, political, and economic settings.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
To aid our understanding of this integrative venture, several important questions revolving around the very concept of integration, are raised. For instance, what are the circumstances under which the GCC emerged? To what extent is integration projects elite-inspired and forged, and to what extent, if at all, is it grass-root inspired? What challenges are the member states facing when trying to achieve their objectives? What is the significance of the existence of a ?core? within this integration? What are the local integrative and disintegrative factors, and how do they operate to hinder or enhance the integration project? What general observations can this study engender in terms of past and present integration aspects with specific focus on locally, regionally, and globally generated supports and stresses?},
  author       = {Alasfoor, Reyadh},
  isbn         = {91-88306-67-4},
  keyword      = {Political and administrative sciences,Politisk historia,Political history,Arabian Gulf,integrative and disintegrative factors,regional hegemons,integration,Tribal Structure,democracy,Statsvetenskap,förvaltningskunskap,Peace and conflict research,polemology,Freds- och konfliktforskning},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {315},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xa7848a0)},
  title        = {The Gulf Cooperation Council: Its Nature and Achievements},
  year         = {2007},
}