GRM 2010 Report - Centre of Islamic Studies - University of ...

GRM 2010 Report - Centre of Islamic Studies - University of ...

The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

With the support of :

University of Cambridge, 7-10 July, 2010

Welcome Note

Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Chairman, Gulf Research Center

About the Gulf Research Meeting 7

Program of the 2010 Gulf Research Meeting 9

Opening Ceremony 13

Opening Address

Prof. Dame Alison Richard

Vice Chancellor، University of Cambridge

Dr. Mohammad Al-Ohali

Deputy Minister for Educational Affairs, Ministry of Higher

Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Gallery 30

List of Workshops/Directors 37

Workshop Descriptions 41

The 2011 Gulf Research Meeting 110

Our Sponsors 112

The Gulf Research Center 115



“Creating a Bridge of Scholarly and Academic Excellence”

Here at the Gulf Research Center (GRC) one of our most important goals

has been the spread of scholarly research and knowledge relating to the

Gulf throughout the international community. In a bid to foster greater

understanding of the GCC and the challenges the region faces, and to

strengthen the links between scholars from different regions, we decided to

create the Gulf Research Meeting (GRM). The first Gulf Research Meeting

was held from July 7-10, 2010 at the University of Cambridge. The Meeting

brought together scholars from the Gulf Region and the rest of the world to discuss, share and

debate the key challenges and issues facing the GCC. Never before has a meeting on this scale

been held, with the sole focus being on scholarly research in the Gulf. This is another of the many

ground-breaking and progressive projects that the GRC is proud to be at the forefront of.

Included in this volume are event summaries of each of the sessions written by our workshop

directors, along with additional information about the event. We hope that you will find this

summary useful both as a source of reference to the discussions that took place and as a pointer

to the range and scope of ideas and issues covered.

The Gulf Research Meeting has created a platform where scholars from around the world can

meet to discuss, explore and share the knowledge of this region. The GRM is unparalleled in both

its scope and value as far as scholarly research is concerned, and we intend to make it an annual

event. We look forward to your active participation in the future.

Dr. Abdulaziz O. Sager


Gulf Research Center

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 5

At a time when the Gulf region continues to gain in strategic relevance and importance, it is

more urgent then ever to expand knowledge about this critical part of the world and to become

more familiar with the issues that are defining its overall development. Of equal importance

is the promotion of scholarly and balanced research about the six member states of the Gulf

Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates),

its adjacent neighbors that constitute the wider Gulf region (Iran, Iraq and Yemen) and their

relations to one another as well as with the wider external environment.

To enhance knowledge and research about the Gulf, the Gulf Research Center Cambridge has

established an annual Gulf Research Meeting (GRM) with the clear objective to provide an

academic environment to foster Gulf studies and to encourage scholarly and academic exchange

among those working on or interested in the developments taking place that are defining the

Gulf region and their constituent societies.

Set within the historic outlines of the University of Cambridge, the Gulf Research Meeting attempts

to highlight the issues of importance to the Gulf region and provide a basis for undertaking and

engaging in academic and empirical research in the fields of politics, economics, energy, security

and the wider social sciences. Through parallel running workshops dedicated to specific topics

and composed of up to 15 paper presenters, the Gulf Research Meeting addresses the existing

shortcomings, to provide correct and insightful information about the region and to promote

mutual understanding between the Gulf and the rest of the world.

Particular emphasis is given to encourage young scholars, in particular from the GCC countries -

including those studying abroad - to engage in the debate and take part in research collaboration.

It is further the intention that the workshops promote various research efforts among different

institutions from within the Gulf and other parts of the Gulf to heighten awareness of Gulf

specific issues. Here, the partnership between the Gulf Research Center and the University of

Cambridge and the strong commitment by the university to foster such cooperation in one

specific example that has already begun to produce results.

The Gulf Research Meeting will take place at the beginning of July each year with a corresponding

call for proposals and a call for papers issued in August and December respectively of each

calendar year.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 7

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

9.00 - 16.00 Arrival of Participants and Registration

16.00 -18.00 Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks:

Dr. Abdulaziz O. Sager - Chairman of the Gulf Research Center

Dr. Abdullah Baabood - Director, Gulf Research Centre Cambridge

Prof. Yasir Suleiman - Head of the Centre of Islamic Studies,

University of Cambridge

Prof. Giles Kepel - Chair, Middle East and Mediterranean Studies,

Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Sciences Po

Opening Address:

18.00 - 20.00 Reception and Dinner

Prof. Dame Alison Richard - Vice Chancellor of the University of


Dr. Mohammad Al-Ohali - Deputy Minister for Educational Affairs,

Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 9


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

8.00 - 9.00 Breakfast

9.00 - 12:30 Workshop Sessions

12:30 - 15.00 Lunch

15.00 - 18.00 Workshop Sessions

Evening Free

Friday July 9th, 2010

8.00 - 9.00 Breakfast

9.00 - 12:30 Workshop Sessions

12:30 - 15.00 Lunch

15.00 - 18.00 Workshop Sessions

20.00 - 00.00 Dinner and Closing Ceremony

Saturday July 10th, 2010

8.00 - 9.00 Breakfast

9.00 - 12.30 Workshop Sessions

12.30 - 15.00 Lunch

15.00 - 16.30 End of Meeting/ Departures

Chairman of the Gulf Research Center, Dr. Abdulaziz Sager

The Opening Ceremony of the Gulf Research Meeting

was held at Queen’s College Cambridge on July 7,

2010. The session began with an introduction by the

Chairman of the Gulf Research Center, Abdulaziz

Sager. In his address, he discussed the importance of

facilitating research between the Gulf and the rest of

world, while also remarking on the positive response

and turnout for the first research meeting, especially

from the Gulf Region. Dr. Sager indicated that in this

first meeting, over 25% of applicants were based in

or from the Gulf Region. In addition, submissions

for papers came from all over the world. All of this

indicated a strong interest in Gulf studies and it was

encouraging to bring so many people together who

shared such a common interest. Dr. Sager therefore

expressed his desire to see the Meeting expand and

continue on an annual basis.

Following the Chairman’s address, Dr. Abdullah Baabood, the Director of the Gulf

Research Centre Cambridge, addressed participants. Dr. Baabood discussed the relationship

between the Gulf Research Centre and the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University

of Cambridge, and how such a partnership formed the basis of the Gulf Research Meeting.

He also praised the importance of the interaction of scholars focusing on Gulf relations.

The Director for the Centre of Islamic Studies in Cambridge, Prof. Yasir Suleiman, spoke next and

provided an insight into the founding of the GRM and the relationship between the Centre for

Islamic Studies and the GRC. He reiterated the strong ties that the Gulf and Cambridge have, and

the importance of establishing a research centre in Cambridge, in order to further strengthen

those ties.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 13


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Prof. Giles Kepel, the Chair of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies at the Institut d’ Etudes

Politiques de Paris at Sciences Po, concluded the short welcoming remarks by speaking about the

dedication and commitment that both the Gulf Research Center and Sciences Po have towards

research and studies in the Gulf with the Kuwait Program at Sciences Po as a contributor to the

Gulf Research Meeting. He also reiterated the importance of the event and the contributions it

can make to the Gulf Region.

The welcoming remarks were followed by two keynote addresses. Professor Dame Alison

Richard, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge offered her views and ideas of

the meeting and what it meant for the relationship between universities and academic

excellence, and how both are instrumental in contributing to society. Professor Richard

focused specifically on also the strong ties that Cambridge is building with the Gulf region

and with such institutions as the UAE University, the Sultan Qaboos University and the

King Abdullah University for Science and Techology (KAUST) in Saud Arabia. and how such

The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

links are down to the enthusiasm of students that had become evident by this meeting.

She also spoke of the general challenges faced by universities and how in order to meet those

challenges, international partnerships were essential.

In the second address, Dr. Mohammad Al-Ohali from the Ministry of Higher Education in the

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stressed that globalization provides a unique opportunity for dialogue

among cultures and civilization and that this opportunity must be utilized to the best effect.

Providing an overview of the vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when it comes to higher

eduction, Dr. Al-Ohali highlighted the preparation of human capital as a fundamental prerequisite

to success as well as the commitment for continued reform in order to meet stated goals and

objectives. In addition, he saw an academic gathering such as the Gulf Research Meeting as an

important component to link the kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the rest of the global community.

Both the addresses are reprinted in full in the following pages.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 15

Opening Address by Professor Dame Alison Richard

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge


Your Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen

It is a great privilege to welcome you to Cambridge. This

small town in the East of England has been a melting-pot of

international scholarship for 800 years. Physical boundaries

are not sharply drawn here – there is no University campus:

University and College buildings are embedded in the town;

and national boundaries are crossed here too: within the

University, Indian academics teach Singaporean graduate

students about German economic theory. That sort of

boundary-crossing is equally evident in our collaborations, and

the University of Cambridge and the Gulf Research Centre,

while distinct entities, benefit from sharing space, ideas and

expertise. I am delighted that this international meeting is being held here, and I congratulate

those in Cambridge and in the Gulf who have worked to bring this conference to life.

I observe that you have a busy programme, and that it has the ambition to affect life in the Gulf

directly. Accordingly, I will be brief, and focus my remarks on what the world’s great universities

can contribute to the world’s great challenges.

Great universities share five simple but crucial characteristics:

• We are supported and sustained by society, with a duty in turn to serve society;

• We pursue academic breadth, and excellence in all we do;

• We have a unified mission to teach and do research;

• We have a high level of autonomy;

and we are at our best when our boundaries are porous.

Let me say a brief word about each of these five characteristics, because they have deep relevance

to the important endeavors of this Gulf Research Meeting.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 19


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Sustained by Society

Universities, whether notionally public or private, receive financial support from society. The

freedom we are granted and the support we receive bring with them obligations to society,

squarely recognized in Cambridge’s mission statement, which begins: “The mission of the

University of Cambridge is to contribute to society….”

I spoke in October 2009 in Abu Dhabi at the Convocation of the UAE University, at the kind

invitation of His Highness Sheikh Nahayan, Chancellor of the UAE University. UAE University’s

formal mission statement contains a similar emphasis: the UAE University “develops the

intellectual, practical, creative and leadership qualities of the nation’s men and women while

enhancing cultural, social, and economic growth.” Universities have society’s trust, and that makes

them crucial forums for ideas, debate, and teaching that may transform society.

Breadth coupled with Excellence

It is a growing challenge to maintain breadth as well as excellence, when society and government

emphasize science and technology for their contribution to economic wealth, and funding

regimes and prestige tend to mirror that emphasis. But the arts and humanities contribute

to the cultural wealth of society in ways less tangible but no less important – and I believe

that scholarship and education in the humanities and social sciences have a vital role to play in

addressing political, cultural and religious conflicts. Today is the 7th July. On this day five years

ago, four British Islamists detonated bombs in the transport system of London, killing 52 people

and injuring over 700. It was an attack on civil society – the society that universities help sustain.

Science and engineering will not help us to understand such attacks, but the humanities and social

sciences – the study of politics and of history, of psychology, of the place of religion – of societies,

indeed – just might. The range of workshops in this conference shows breadth across the arts,

humanities and sciences, and the conference gains strength and relevance from this.

A Unified Mission to Teach and do Research

Much of the talk about universities centres around the production of exciting discoveries in

science and technology. Often, happily, the talk also turns to human enrichment through the

development of cultural wealth and insight. But every bit as important as these is our role

as educators – every bit as important are the students we send forth as the citizens and leaders

of the future.

In recent decades, led by the sciences, the research budgets of most research-intensive universities

grew quickly. The fraction of the operating budget that supports educational activities is fast

diminishing as a result. In the UK these activities are still under-funded, and in research-intensive

universities everywhere they receive less academic acclaim and reward. This combination of

circumstances is a cause for concern, because it risks a subtle but real drift away from the

educational mission of universities that is an ever more vital contribution to the world. Where

new universities and higher education programmes are created in the Gulf, I observe, there is an

opportunity to reset the balance.


For universities, there must be freedom in the air: the freedom to explore new pathways, to

think, write and argue beyond that which is conventional or comfortable, to teach students to

think for themselves and not as others would have them think.

In some societies, asserting these freedoms is enough to land you in prison. The challenges most

of usconfront, though, are different, much more subtle, and come as much from within as from

without. Academic freedom of the kind I have described is inherently inefficient: it is the freedom

to take risks and fail, the freedom to go up blind alleys for months or years on end. Isaac Newton,

whose studies at Trinity College a few hundred metres from here transformed mechanics and

optics, and laid the foundations of modern mathematics, also spent a great deal of time on alchemy.

From today’s perspective, we might consider that time wasted – but in the orthodoxy of the

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 21


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

mid 17th century, alchemy was not

an unusual intellectual pursuit, and it

had a clear and beneficial goal that

attracted some of the finest minds

of the day: it was not Newton’s

alchemy but his mechanics that

constituted the risky new territory,

the potential dead end. Pressures -

self-imposed as well as externally

imposed - to be efficient, productive,

and “successful” are no bad thing

in some measure. But there are

risks to relevance and self-imposed

efficiency: that we end up constraining the grand inefficiencies of free inquiry – and snuff out the

spark that is at the heart of creativity, discovery and innovation.

We must be vigilant in celebrating and protecting these great strengths – the trust of society,

the unity of teaching and research, the pursuit of breadth with excellence, freedom of inquiry.

But surely it helps to articulate the value and importance of these strengths and find every

opportunity to uphold and defend them.

I shall spend a little more time on the fifth quality that universities bring to help us meet the

world’s challenges. I have already touched on it a little – our capacity to cross boundaries.

Crossing Boundaries

Universities are crossing international boundaries with increasing frequency. There are many good

reasons for this. Let me propose just three, all of them evident in your programme over these

next few days. The first is education. We are educating citizens and leaders for an increasingly

interconnected world, in which many of today’s students will go on to live and work in a variety

of national and cultural settings in the course of their lives. The second is the search for solutions

to the challenges of our modern world. The third is to be of service, helping build capacity where

little presently exists – though make no mistake, when Cambridge helps build capacity elsewhere,

we learn a very great deal from the exchange.

Cambridge is in transition, I believe, moving from one distinct mode of internationalism

to having two. The first centres on the individual. Cambridge has been welcoming visiting

scholars for centuries, Cambridge academics have undertaken their own travels, and we have

educated students from abroad for almost as long. I hope this will not stop. But the power of

intelligent institutional partnership is becoming ever more evident.

We have chosen partnerships as our preferred institutional model for international activity, rather

than establishing campuses overseas. Partnerships can be top-down or bottom-up; researchled

or education-led; bilateral or multilateral. They can involve physical exchange of students

and staff, the virtual exchange of ideas, or joint research projects; they can be symbiotic, or an

exchange of capacity-building for institutional experience and learning.

Cambridge is building partnerships of real substance, using all of these approaches, – for example

with the UAE University, and the American University of Sharjah, Sultan Qaboos University, and

we play a leading role in KAUST in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These bridges are two-way, and

the Gulf has a presence in Cambridge too, most significantly through the generosity and vision of

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has endowed the Professorship held by Professor Yasir

Suleiman, and a new professorship in interfaith understanding; and of His Royal Highness Prince

Alwaleed bin Talal, after whom the Centre of Islamic Studies is named.

However, in my experience certainly, the high-minded aspirations of donors and even Vice-

Chancellors can have little effect without the enthusiasms and ambition of individual academics,

and I am pleased to report that such enthusiasm is here in abundance.


Cambridge responds nimbly to change in the world, and helps to shape and lead it. Most of our

international partnerships were developed as opportunities arose, not as a result of institutional

planning. Today, we are becoming more deliberate. As global solutions are sought for global

problems, we must be ready to play a leading role in international collaborations. As more and

more people live and work across a range of cultures, we universities must help prepare our

students for that life. As communications transform the meaning of access, we must use that

opportunity creatively too. With these possibilities before us, I am certain that international

collaboration will keep growing, for the best of reasons – because it is important and interesting

– and for the sake of friendship between colleagues and across nations.

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, thank you once more for your presence here, and thank

you for listening to my thoughts. I wish the Meeting every possible success.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 23


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Opening Address by Dr. Mohammad Al-Ohali

Deputy Minister for Educational Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Your Excellency Vice Chancellor

Your Excellency Dr Abdulaziz Sager

Distinguished participants

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It gives me great pleasure to thank the Gulf Research Centre

at Cambridge for the kind invitation. I would like to convey a

warm greeting from his Excellency Dr. Khalid Al Angary, the

Minister of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia, who could not

attend due to a pre-scheduled commitment in Japan at this


First of all, let me share with you, the importance of the theme

of this significant expert’s meeting which is timely important

and relevant. Today, with many challenges of depletion

of natural resources, poverty, environmental changes and

health-risk issues, there are tremendous opportunities, offered by the advancement in education,

research and innovation, the expansion in information and communication technology, and even

a unique opportunity through globalization.

While many believe that globalization endangers cultural diversity, I think it could provide a

unique opportunity for dialogue among cultures and civilizations on the basis of shared human

values, mutual understanding and respect.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

On this occasion, I would like to share with you briefly an overview of Saudi Arabian Higher

Education’s vision with highlights on the recent activities. Saudi Arabia has been witnessing rapid

development in various fields. The higher educational sector is enjoying a great support from the

government of Saudi Arabia and its leadership. This is evident in variety of resources and forms,

and can easily be recognized by the fact that this sector gets 26% of the country’s budget. As

a result, higher education in Saudi Arabia has adopted a strategy for the next 20 years, with a

clear vision and practical and dynamic initiatives. We strongly believe that higher education must

significantly contribute to the country transformation socially and economically.

The strategy focuses on the preparation of human capital, as a fundamental prerequisite to make

the Saudi economy truly a knowledge-based economy. It aims to make the Saudi society achieve

higher standards in intellectual productivity, knowledge creation and dissemination, as well as its

utilization in various activities and services.

In accordance with this vision, two tracks were planned:

A Short-term track, focusing on admission capacity and employability of graduates, and

A Long-term track, continuing on the previous two key issues and in addition dealing

with, Quality Assurance, Funding, Scientific Research, Scholarship program, and International

Cooperation and partnership.

Based on that, the Ministry of Higher Education has been working on several reforms and

initiatives to fulfill the country’s development needs that at the same time will be in harmony

with global educational trends and advances.

One of the first major adopted initiatives is to provide wider access opportunities at university

level, combined with efforts to ensure success, and to achieve both geographical and gender

equity in providing access to higher education.

Today, the governmental universities (only) provide opportunities to almost 90% of high school

graduates, we have almost one million students enrolled in higher education, 60% of them are

female studying in 33 government and private universities, distributed all over the regions of the

country. We were successful in raising the participation rate during the last 10 years from 18% to

34% of the target age group, heading to our next target, of more than 50% in year 2020.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 25


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

In addition, we have recently launched a massive Scholarship Program. In the last 4 years, more

than 88 thousand Saudi male and female students have been sent to study at some prestigious

universities in more than 16 countries in all continents.

We believe this exposure will equip our students with different experiences and more

understanding of cultural diversities, looking forward to building more and stronger bridges with

other cultures and countries.

Along the same effort on expansion, several initiatives have been adopted in quality assurance of

institutions as well as educational programs. In fact, by 2014, all programs and institutions have to

complete full accreditation requirements, either by the national accreditation commission or by

international accreditation agencies.

On the research front, Saudi universities have made significant research contributions locally

and internationally. Many of them are currently engaged in major partnerships with well-known

international institutions and research centers, as well as with major national and international

companies through Science Parks and Technovalley–industrial clusters.

In summing up about our system, and with all reforms and initiatives that are under implementation,

the ultimate goal is to have our university system evolve into a world class higher education

system. In Saudi Arabia, we are highly committed to achieve this goal by the strong actions we

have taken to date. We want Saudi Arabia to be truly ‘globally connected’ in its journey to a

brighter future and its effective contribution in creating a better world.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We believe that, this new global concept of “a world class higher education university system”,

deserves further discussion and thoughtfulness, from worldwide experts and institutions . In fact,

this is the topic that we have chosen to our second international conference on higher education

to be held in Riyadh April 2011. I take this opportunity to invite you to attend this major event.

Finally, let me take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to the Gulf Research

Centre and Cambridge University for making this truly a successful academic assembly. I wish this

respected gathering every success and prosperity.

Thank you.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 27


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

The Opening Ceremony of the Gulf Research Meeting

Prof. Dame Alison is congratulated by GRC Chairman Dr. Abdulaziz Sager and Prof. Yasir Suleiman after her

opening address


Prof. Giles Kepel, Chair of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies, Institut d’ Etudes Politiques de Paris, Dr. Abdullah

Baabood, Director, Gulf Research Centre Cambridge and Stuart Laing, Master of Corpus Christi College.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 31


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Reception following the Opening Ceremony

Prof. Giacomo Luciani, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation, Geneva with Prof. Shahram Akbarzadeh,

University of Melbourne

Opening Reception in the Courtyard of Queen’s College

Dr. Stephane Lacroix, Sciences Po, being interviewed for BBC Arabiya

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 33


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassim, Vice-President of Zayed University, Dr Mohammed Al Ohali and Prof. Yasir Suleiman

With Educational Workshop Directors Ronald Sultana and Andre Mazawi

Oskar Ziemelis, Martin Hvidt and Mei Zhang

Prof. Tim Niblock, Exeter University with Prof. Mohammad Ramady of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and


Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 35

The Gulf Research Meeting received over 300 abstracts for the various workshops for which the

Call for Papers was issued. Out of these proposals, 12 workshops were arranged, which we felt

captured the key elements and challenges facing the Gulf.

Workshop 1

Natural Resources, Accountability and Democracy

Prof. Richard Youngs, Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE)

Dr. Gerd Nonneman, University of Exeter

Workshop 2

Formal and Informal Mechanisms of Political Participation

Prof. Anoush Ehteshami, Durham University

Workshop 3

The Role of the Private Sector in Promoting Economic and Political Reform

Prof. Giacomo Luciani, Gulf Research Center Foundation

Dr. Bassma Kodmani, Arab Reform Initiative

Workshop 4

The GCC Banking and Financial Sector

Dr. Eckart Woertz, Gulf Research Center

Dr. Hatem Al-Shanfari, Sultan Qaboos University

Workshop 5

Population, Labor Markets and National Identity

Dr. Steffen Hertog, Sciences-Po

Dr. Rola Dashti, Kuwait Economic Society

Workshop 6

The Impact of Migration on Gulf Development and Stability

Prof. Philippe Fargues, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute

Prof. Nasra Shah, Kuwait University

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 37


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Workshop 7

Developing an Agenda for Security Studies in the Gulf

Dr. Mustafa Alani, Gulf Research Center

Prof. Salih Al-Mani, King Saud University

Workshop 8

The Governance of Higher Education in the Gulf Cooperation Region

Prof. André Elias Mazawi, University of British Columbia

Dr. Ronald G. Sultana, University of Malta

Workshop 9

Environmental Policies in the Gulf Region

Dr. Mohammed A. Raouf, Gulf Research Center

Prof. Walid K. Al- Zubari, Arabian Gulf University

Workshop 10

EU-GCC Relations

Dr. Geoffrey Edwards, University of Cambridge

Dr. Abdullah Babood, Gulf Research Centre, Cambridge

Workshop 11

Gulf-China Relations

Prof. Tim Niblock, University of Exeter

Dr. Mei Zhang, Shanghai Institute for International Studies

Workshop 12

Islamic Politics in the Gulf

Dr. Stephane Lacroix, Sciences-Po

Saud Al-Sarhan, University of Exeter

Each workshop ran over 2 to 3 days and focused on the paper

presentations by participants and the insights and inputs of our

various listening participants. A closer look at each of the workshops

showcases the ideas and views that were offered.

Workshop 1:

Natural Resources, Accountability and Democracy in the Gulf

Dr. Richard Youngs

Fundación para

las Relaciones

Internacionales y

el Diálogo Exterior


Prof. Gerd Nonneman

University of Exeter

This workshop set out to re-examine the linkages between natural resources – and in particular

hydrocarbon fuel resources – and political liberalization/democratization, as illustrated by the

case of the Gulf States. Very little notice has been taken of Middle Eastern, and especially Gulf,

case studies in the broader literature on the subject. The region has long presented a peculiar

case, with exceptional resources combining with apparently exceptional resilience of traditional

systems. Moreover, these economies are arguably undergoing a slow evolution beyond pure

rentierism, while possible emerging new socio-political trends may be in part linked to this. The

workshop aimed to make both an empirical and conceptual contribution to these questions.

The participants started from recognition that the literature on the link between resources

and democracy is both diverse and contested. It ranges from suggested links between wealth

and democracy to the opposite suggestion in early rentierism literature on the Middle East. Oil

wealth in particular, and natural resource wealth more generally, have been argued, for instance

by Terry Karl, to lead almost inexorably to authoritarian/autocratic government, or at least to be

negatively correlated with ‘democracy’, ‘democratization’, or more broadly political participation

and accountability. Michael Ross’s famous 2001 article also claimed to show a correlation between

oil and authoritarianism. And others have pointed to problems of economic growth (‘Dutch

disease’) and more generally a ‘resource curse’ resulting in governance failure and even state

failure. The workshop participants debated the nature of such links, the mechanisms explaining

them, and the variables that may support them, intervene, or cut across them.

Some recent work on these countries’ political evolution has raised the question whether they

need always remain stuck in the ‘liberalized autocracy’ stage at best, or might have mediumor

longer-term possibilities of moving beyond this. Even in the current phase of more or less

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 41


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

liberalizing autocracy, does the evidence from the countries of the Gulf Coopertion Council

(GCC) force us to re-visit Karl’s view? At the most fundamental level, the extent to which

hydrocarbon-based rentierism itself remains an adequate description of the GCC economies,

and even more so of their political economies, was questioned. Agreement emerged with some

recent work on the GCC economies that has suggested fledging shifts are occurring that are

changing the nature of at least parts of these economies. This does not mean there is not still

a considerable rentier component of these political economies, but it does mean that analysis

needs to look beyond the traditional rentier state framework. Not a single country in the MENA

region scores above the global median of the World Bank’s index for global accountability. Yet

paradoxically the countries of GCC, once condemned as irredeemably ‘rentier’, are emerging as

the most efficient economies in the region – or at least as containing some of the most efficient

sub-sectors or ‘islands of efficiency.’ During a period of inflated energy prices, non-hydrocarbon

exports from the GCC have more than doubled. Half of the GCC’s GDP comes from non-oil

products and a portion of this growth stems from the expansion of the private sector rather

than public sector demand. In the GCC economies, the share of private investment in total capital

formation is now higher than that of governments.

State failure, or even failure of governance, then, is not on the agenda – at least not in any way

suggested by the resource curse literature. This was shown clearly in Rolf Schwartz’s paper, which

also suggested the explanation lay in the type of state formation that has been able to use generous

resources (measured as ‘allocation per capita’) to bring forward societal groups mirrored on the

state – an explanation running parallel to the revised version of Ross’s argument (in a 2009 paper

revisiting his 2001 argument). This is, of course, one version of the rentier argument. As Ross,

in his revised argument of 2009, puts it (‘Oil and Democracy Revisited’ preliminary draft, March


“The rentier effect may inhibit democratization through three of these four possible routes:

• it may boost the capacities of state elites to thwart democracy through the spending effect;

• it may reduce the interests of the masses in democracy through the taxation effect;

• and it may reduce the capacity of the masses to instigate democracy through the group

formation effect.

I show that the two measurable parts of the rentier mechanism – more government spending and

lower taxes – are directly correlated with Oil Income, and that in combination they help account

for the link between oil and democracy”.

Ross’s 2009 work shows clearly that there is an artistically significant correlation between oil

wealth and lack of democracy, but by the same token there is nothing deterministic about it:

after all, Latin America bucks the trend. Workshop participants agreed that one key conclusion

from the Latin American case is reflected in a different way in the case of the Gulf, that in order

to explain particular outcomes in different political economies, reference to oil (or resource)

wealth is insufficient, and must be complemented by reference to ‘initial conditions’ – as strongly

argued by Adeel Malik’s paper. Applying a ‘new institutional economics’ framework, he stresses

the need to recognize that the resource curse is not inevitable, and that countries may follow

a policy learning curve. The importance of case studies and micro-evidence, and the need to

think in terms of processes as well as outcomes, stands out in that context. This chimed with the

arguments presented by several other participants, that there are a range of other factors to be

kept in mind apart from the availability of natural resources rent: these include path-dependence

and the importance of initial conditions; political culture; regime type; leadership; and size. Indeed,

there was a consensus that the questions need to be addressed in an interdisciplinary manner.

Annika Kropf’s provisional results, using the small-sample statistical method QCA, normally used

for samples between 5-45, indicate that performance on the criteria of governance, regulatory

quality and the rule of law are a necessary condition for growth. In the case of Kuwait, the factor

‘absence of democracy’ appeared to be a necessary condition for growth – but the single case

means the finding cannot be considered robust. There was also a recognition of the importance

of bottom-up societal learning experience, as argued by Sameena Hameed – in other words, of

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 43


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not ignoring the possible agency of civil society, even if this might be slow to crystallize.

Indeed, a key point to be noted is that the sorts of evolution examined in the case of the

GCC states is certainly not one of short-term ‘transition’, but may range anywhere between

persistent if liberalized autocracy of a neo-traditional kind, and long-term evolution towards

localized forms of greater political participation – in a timescale that may well be beyond what

most measurements target. The teleological assumptions of ‘transitology’, therefore, should be


Part of the recognition of the broader context was laid out by Elena Maestri and Valeria

Piacentini, drawing attention to the articulation of two ‘systems’ – one mainly rural/tribal/

traditional, one urban/modern – while eschewing stereotyping of either, nor ignoring their

intertwining and evolution in continuous adaptation. But, even while hydrocarbon resources have

fed into this evolution, the socio-anthropological complexity needs to be recognized in ways that

straightforward international statistical comparison cannot capture.

The case of Iran allows a number of interesting comparisons. Hydrocarbon-based rent has been

significant, and clearly this rent has allowed both the Pahlavis and the current regime actors to

combine the usual patronage, spending and coercion. But papers by Giuseppina Massa and Jennifer

Hunt also showed how this case illustrates the complexity of the question and the importance

of prior history: Iran, after all, has a history of civil society activism and democratic practice –

factors which, together with ‘leadership’, economic structure, and international context, and the

peculiarities of particular political systems, may need to be brought into the explanatory mix.

In conclusion, while ‘rent’ – defined as resources not extracted from society or deriving from

societal activity – does play a very major role in shaping the political evolution along a spectrum

between neotraditional autocracy and semi-democracy in a mixed cultural and political economy,

a number of qualifications must be made. First, in wider comparative discussions, it is important

to note the difference between fuel resources and other types of resources. Second, while oil and

associated rents remain powerful forces in the political and economic evolution of these states,

they never were pure rentier states, and have for some time been moving further beyond rent.

Martin Hvidt’s analysis of the evolution of development plans found a fledgling/partial reflection

of this. Third, rentier-state, or resource-curse analysis also cannot be sufficient to explain patterns

of politico-economic development because the rent factor is always cut across by other factors

that may be critical – ranging from patterns of state formation and ‘initial conditions’, to evolving

political culture, regime type, leadership and policy choice, and size.

The examples of Iran (and indeed Iraq), as well as Kuwait and Bahrain, already show that the

Gulf features significant civil society activity aimed at achieving political participation and that,

depending on prior history, external context (stressed in particular by Rushda Siddiqui), other

conjunctural factors and political agency, this may eventually lead to more open political systems

even in the presence of abundant natural resources and of fuel resources in particular. In other

Gulf monarchies, too, evolution is conceivable, but in the most resource-rich states, such openings

will be very gradual at best and are unlikely to lead beyond liberalized neotraditional autocracy at

best. Everywhere, and especially in the small polities, it is important to think of these dynamics in

the long term, rather than drawing conclusions in short-term scales of a few years, or even one or

two decades. It is also important to avoid the teleological assumptions of transitology, and instead

recognize that where significant political openings beyond liberalized autocracy do emerge, they

may take on forms with much local specificity. In contemplating these imponderables, one of the

more intriguing questions, addressed in a paper by Kerstin Fritzsche, is the extent to which a

shift in energy use, including through attempts to address climate change and develop renewable

energy also within these states, might affect either a diminution of rents or a changing distribution

of such rents – and how this might affect the prospects for political change.

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Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Richard Youngs

Richard Youngs is director general of FRIDE. He is also assistant professor at the University

of Warwick in the UK. Prior to joining FRIDE, he was EU Marie Curie research fellow at the

Norwegian Institute for International Relations, Oslo (2001-4), and senior research fellow at the

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1995-8). He has a PhD and an MA in International Studies

from the University of Warwick and a BA in Social and Political Science from the University of

Cambridge. His research focuses mainly on democracy promotion and democratisation, European

foreign policy, energy security, and the MENA region. He has written several books on different

elements of European external policy and published over forty articles and working papers, while

writing regularly in national and international media.

Prof. Gerd Nonneman

Born in Flanders and educated at Ghent University (Belgium) in Oriental Philology (Arabic)

and, at postgraduate level, in Development Studies, Professor Nonneman subsequently worked

in the commercial sector in Iraq for a number of years during the 1980s, before returning to

academia and further studies - including a doctorate in Middle East Politics at Exeter University.

After teaching Middle East politics and political economy at Manchester and Exeter Universities,

and a spell as Visiting Professor at the International University of Japan, he taught International

Relations and Middle East Politics at Lancaster University from 1993 to 2007, returning to Exeter,

in the summer of 2007 to take up his present position as Al-Qasimi Professor of Gulf Studies. He

was a member of the UK’s 2001 national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) panel on Middle

Eastern Studies, and served as Executive Director of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

(BRISMES), 1998-2002. He is also an associate Fellow of the Middle East Programme at Chatham

House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), serving as the Programme’s specialist on the Arab

Gulf states. Alongside his academic work, Prof. Nonneman has written for specialist political and

economic analysis publications such as the Economist Intelligence Unit and acted as a consultant

to or worked with a range of companies, national and international official institutions including

the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, foreign ministries in Europe and elsewhere, the European

Commission, and various NGOs - ranging from Amnesty International to the Bertelsmann


Workshop 1 Papers

Elena Maestri (co-author Valeria Piacentini), Università Cattolica del Sacro


“Human Resources Development and Dynamics of Social Growth in the GCC States”

Sameena Hameed, Jamia Millia Islamia

“Petroleum Resource Management and Variations of Democratic Spaces in the Gulf”

Kerstin Fritzsche, Adelphi Research

“Sunshine for democracy? Exploring the linkages between renewable energy generation and

political liberalization in the Arab Gulf countries”

Martin Hvidt, University of Southern Denmark

“Economic and Institutional reform in the GCC countries. Are current reforms changing the

mode of governance?”

Bezen Balamir Coskun, Zirve University

“Overcoming the Resource Curse: The Prospects and Problems for the Gulf States’ transition

from Rentier State to Democracy”

Jennifer Hunt, University of Sydney

“Augmenting the Rentier State Theory: Insights from Prospect Theory as Applied to an Iranian

Case Study”

Giuseppina Massa, Johns Hopkins University

“Iran: politics of change”

Rolf Schwartz, NATO Defense College

“Oil Revenues, Development and State Failure: Resource Curse or Rentier Blessing?”

Rushda Siddiqui, Indian Council of World Affairs

“Natural Resources and Accountability in the Gulf”

Dr Adeel Malik (co-author Richard Auty), University of Oxford

“The Political Economy of Oil in the Middle East”

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Workshop 2: Formal and Informal Mechanisms of Political Participation

Prof. Anoush Ehteshami

Durham University

From a very healthy number of applications, a total of 10 papers were selected from the list,

attempting to ensure that the conceptual and geographic spread of material relating to the

subject of political participation in the Gulf States was covered. We drew our analytical case

studies from a wide mix of papers, and from a very diverse range of disciplinary expertise. The

result was a most delightful mix of papers, masterfully presented by our speakers, and leading

to non-stop debate and discussions during sessions as well as over lunches and dinners. A rich

tapestry of insights was woven into the formal and informal mechanisms of political participation

in the Gulf workshop. In our extensive deliberations, we explored in depth such issues as political

culture, identity, regime type, institutions, role of political ideology, legal frameworks, gender

mainstreaming, elite creativity, role of external forces and factors, place of authoritarian learning

when it comes to limiting political participation and the consequences of absence of political

parties. The quality of the papers, helped by the quality of our interactions, conspired to provide

the group with the necessary analytical building blocks for comparative and historical research in

this field of inquiry. We were all that bit wiser by the end of the workshop. The friendships stuck

will be long lasting, of that I am assured, and it is hoped that we will be able to bring together as

many of these papers as possible in an effort to ensure that the world at large can also benefit

from the extraordinary research undertaken by the international scholars presenting their work

and ideas at this workshop. I was immensely privileged to have been present throughout, and to

act as orchestra leader for this group. The richness of political science scholarship on the Gulf on

display has filled me with hope that the future of such scholarship is indeed bright and it will be

of great satisfaction to follow the promising careers of this group of scholars as they negotiate

their place amongst the international scholarly community.

Workshop Director Profile

Prof. Anoush Ehteshami

Prof. Anoush Ehteshami is Professor of International Relations and Head of School of Government

and International Affairs, Durham University, UK. He is also a Fellow of the World Economic

Forum. He was Vice-President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) from

2000 to 2003. His many book-length publications include: Globalization and Geopolitics in the Middle

East: Old Games, New Rules (New York: Routledge, 2007), Iran and the Rise of its Neoconservatives

(with Mahjoob Zweiri) (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007), The Middle East’s Relations with Asia and Russia

(co-editor) (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), The Foreign Policies of Middle East States (coeditor)

(Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2002) and Iran’s Security Policy in the Post-Revolutionary Era

(co-author) (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2001). His current research revolves around five overarching

themes: The Asian balance of power in the post-Cold War era; the ‘Asianization’ of the

international system; foreign and security policies of Middle East states since the end of the Cold

War; the impact of globalization on the Middle East; good governance, democratization efforts in

the Middle East.

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Workshop 2 Papers

Michael Schmidmayr, Sciences Po, Paris

“Electoral Boycott within an Authoritarian Framework: The Case of Bahrain”

Adrien Paul Zakar, Georgetown University

Beyond the Rentier State: Boundaries of formality and informality of institutionalization in Qatar

and Abu Dhabi”

Russell Lucas, Florida International University

“Ta‘addudiyya in the GCC Monarchies: Social or Political Pluralism?”

Andy Barnett, American University of Sharjah

“Growing in the Shadows: Wasta in the GCC”

Anicee VanEngeland, University of Bedfordshire

“Comparative Study of Muslim Women’s Tools and Strategies to Enhance Gender Equality in


Luciano Zaccara, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

“Formal and informal political participation in Iran after 12th June presidential elections”

Shahram Akbarzadeh, University of Melbourne

“Promoting civil society in Iran”

Thomas Demmelhuber, Friedrich-Alexander-University

“Tradition, Authoritarianism, and Liberal Thought in the Gulf Monarchies”

Eran Segal, University of Haifa

“The Making of Formal Political Participation in Kuwait: The Majalis of 1921 and 1938 Revisited”

Mohammed Bani Salameh, Yarmouk University

“Democratization in Kuwait”

Workshop 3: The Role of the Private Sector in Promoting Economic

and Political Reform

Prof. Giacomo


Gulf Research

Center Foundation

Dr. Bassma Kodmani

Arab Reform Initiative

At the start of the workshop, the directors laid out the objectives for the discussions that would

be taking place over the next three days. The convening of the workshop “The Role of the Private

Sector in Promoting Economic and Political Reform” stems from a joint project currently being

carried out by the Arab Reform Initiative and the Gulf Research Center which examines how

the private sector is influencing the reform process in the Arab world, for example through

lobbying efforts to demand different economic policies, through labor reform, etc. The project

represents new avenues for research as political scientists are not always equipped to look at

economic issues and economists do not necessarily explore political dimensions. Thus the papers

presented at the workshop contributed to our understanding of this topic and filled a certain gap

in research on the region.

An important issue addressed throughout concerned the generational element and role of

international education in shaping the contours of the private sector, and specifically in shaping

their visions and priorities in terms of social, political, and economic models. Indeed, this became

a common thread through all the papers. Understanding the positions of the private sector, and in

particular the differing visions between different types of profiles within the private sector – is a

means of understanding to what extent they are interested in being actors in the reform process,

as well as how to position themselves to the state. The discussions also focused to an important

extent on the question of identity and nationality. How do these business elites see themselves,

and what is the position and role of expatriate business actors? Indeed, nationalizing expatriate

business actors could have an important impact on determining who will push for reform and

what kind of reform will be sought. New avenues for further research were identified during the

discussion. Most importantly, was understanding the vision of society that private sector actors

hold, and what actions they are taking – if any – to achieve this vision.

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Workshop Director Profiles

Prof. Giacomo Luciani

Prof. Giacomo Luciani is Senior Advisor, Gulf Research Center and Director, The Gulf Research

Center Foundation, Geneva. Since 1997, he has been Adjunct Professor of International Relations

at the SAIS Johns Hopkins University Bologna Centre. Currently, he is also Visiting Professor at

the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and at the University

of Lausanne. From 2000-06, he was Professor of Political Economy and co-director of the

Mediterranean Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European

University Institute. He has been visiting professor at the CAP, Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in

München, Germany (2004-05), Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), Paris (1994-97) and the

Department of Economics at UCLA (1986-88). From May 1990-May 2000, Prof. Luciani worked

with ENI as Vice President in charge of international intelligence and major strategic projects

involving several lines of business. Earlier, during 1988-90, he was Plan Operations Manager, SRI

International team, at the Ministry of Planning, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From 1977-1986, Prof. Luciani,

who began his career as an economist with the Bank of Italy, was associated with the Istituto

Affari Internazionali (IAI), first as Director of Economic Studies, then as Director of Studies.

He founded and directed the Institute for Research on International Economics (IRECI) from

1974-77. (IRECI merged with the IAI in 1977). His research interests include Political economy

of the Middle East and North Africa and Geopolitics of energy. His work has focused primarily

on the economic and political dynamics of rentier states and issues of development in the GCC

countries. He is a member of the Oxford Energy Policy Club, the Geneva Petroleum Club, and

the Energy, Oil and Gas Club of the Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP). He is a frequent speaker at

conferences and events organized by leading institutions in the field of energy affairs. Prof. Luciani

also leads the research component of the GRC’s Al-Jisr project.

Dr. Bassma Kodmani

Dr. Bassma Kodmani is the Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative, a consortium of

Arab policy research institutes with partners in Europe and the US, working collaboratively on

reforms and democratic transitions in the Arab world. She is also Associate research fellow at

the Centre d’études et de recherché internationals (CERI) at Sciences-Po, Paris and a senior

adviser on international cooperation to the French national research council (CNRS). From

1999 to 2005 she headed the Governance and International Cooperation program at the Ford

Foundation office for the Middle East and North Africa, based in Cairo where she had overall

responsibility for support to research institutions, NGOs and public agencies in the region, and

special responsibility for initiating and supporting joint Israeli-Palestinian projects and track II

meetings. Prior to moving to Cairo, she established and directed the Middle East Program at

the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris from 1981 to 1998 and was

Associate Professor of International Relations at Paris University. She holds a PhD in Political

Science from Sciences-Po in Paris. She has authored books and articles on conflicts in the Middle

East, regional security, the Palestinian question, political developments in Arab societies and states

and the relationship between religious authority and political authority in the Muslim world.

Workshop 3 Papers

Salma Bani, Agricultural Economist

“Private sector capabilities and degree of dependence on the government-Bahrain Delmon

Poultry Firm as a case study”

Rivka Azoulay, Institut d’Etudes Politiques Paris

“The politics of Shiite merchants in Kuwait”

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Marc Valeri, University of Exeter

“State Business Relations and Economic Governance Reforms: The comparative case studies of

Bahrain and Oman”

Yousuf Al Baloushi, Ministry of National Economy, Oman

“The Impact of FDI on Economic Development and Private Sector in the GCC: A case study of


Nathan Hodson, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

“Estimates of the Strength of the Private Sector”

Radhika Kanchana, Sciences Po, Paris

“Indian businessmen as expatriate participants in Dubai’s private sector and consequently in

economic/political reform”

Kevan Harris, John Hopkins University

“Pseudo-Privatization in the Islamic Republic: Cognitive Dissonance in Iran’s Liberalization”

Tina Zintl, University of St Andrews

“Syria’s reforms under Bashar al-Asad: an opportunity for foreign-educated entrepreneurs to

move into decision-making?”

Torsten Matzke, University of Tübingen

“States and Businesses in the Arab World: A one-sided relationship?”

Workshop 4: GCC Banking and Financial Sector

Dr. Eckart Woertz

Gulf Research Center

Dr. Hatem


Sultan Qaboos University

The workshop analyzed the different segments of the GCC financial markets and assessed

their future development prospects. Additionally, it took a look at foreign investments of GCC

countries and their petrodollar recycling via sovereign wealth funds. Special emphasis was laid

on the reaction of GCC monetary authorities to the global financial crisis and the policy options

they face as they are plan for a GCC monetary union. Based on high oil prices and a more

diversified economic structure, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia,

UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) currently have one of the highest GDP growth rates

worldwide with a concomitant development of domestic financial markets. A growing population

has caused a boom in local real estate and consumer markets and multibillion infrastructure

investments are needed. From oil up- and downstream projects to heavy industries, transport,

power plants, water desalination and waste treatment there is hardly a sector that does not

require an increased amount of financing, financial services and insurance. The worry of monetary

authorities in the GCC about high inflation rates has given way to an accommodative stance in

the second half of 2008 as the global credit crunch has raised the potential threat of a deflationary

contraction. One task of the workshop was therefore the assessment of central bank policies

and how a coordinated reaction of the GCC countries to the global financial crisis might help a

reformulation of policy options.

As possible future developments for the GCC Banking and Finance Sector, the following trends

were identified:

• Growing investment and corporate banking services for domestic companies and project finance

• Increased M & A of GCC companies and increased FDI of foreign companies in the GCC.

• Development of capital markets, notably bond and derivative markets, this includes a nascent

fund industry ranging from mutual funds to pension schemes and private equity funds. Tackling

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of associated regulatory issues.

• Development of private banking services for a growing number of high net worth individuals,

who have become more sophisticated.

• Advanced asset management solutions for sovereign wealth funds, which manage the increasing

oil wealth. Trend towards strategic equity stakes instead of mere portfolio investments.

• Venturing of national banks into the project finance market, which is thus far dominated by

international banks.

• Back office and custodian solutions for GCC capital markets, which have more intersections

with international markets and show a tendency towards unification.

• Growing role of Islamic banking, although growth rates are likely to level out as we approach a

higher statistical base. Potential of local banks acquiring international status via this niche market

(e.g. cooperation with Asia/Malaysia). Specific requirements in regulation (Basle II), customer

care and risk management solutions. Controversial discussions about Sharia compliance of

various products.

Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Eckart Woertz

Dr. Eckart Woertz served as Director of Economic Studies at the GRC until October 2010. He

has been a visiting fellow at Princeton University and has held senior positions in financial services

companies in Germany and the UAE, amongst them Delbrück & Co one of the oldest German

private banks. His research interests include the political economy of the Middle East, financial

markets and energy issues. Dr. Woertz is a regular contributor to the region’s leading newspapers

and TV channels. In February 2005, he published The Role of Gold in the Unified GCC Currency,

where he predicted a long-term bull market in the precious metal. In his GRC publication GCC

Stock Markets at Risk, he warned at the beginning of 2006 about the following stock market crash

in the GCC. He has also dealt extensively with petrodollar recycling, strategic foreign investments

and the impact of the global financial crisis on the GCC countries. Since 2008 Middle East food

security has been special interests of his. He holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and a PhD

in Economics from Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he conducted

research about structural adjustment politics in Egypt.

Dr. Hatem Al-Shanfari

Dr. Hatem Al-Shanfari is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at the

College of Commerce and Economics at Sultan Qaboos University. His research interest is focused

on asset pricing models, risk management, financial markets, management of financial institutions

and Trade in Services (GATS). He has published number of articles in referred international

journals and participated in number of professional international conferences. Presently, Dr. Al-

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The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Shanfari is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Gulf Investment Services Company and

the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board of Al Omaniya Financial Services company;

Vice Chairman of the Board of Omani Economic Association; a member of the Economics

committee of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry,; and research associate of the

Economic Research Forum for the Arab Countries, Iran and Turkey. He holds a doctorate degree

in Economics from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He also earned an MA degree

in Economic Planning from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the Netherlands and B.Sc

in Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Workshop 4 Papers

Wassim, Shahin (co-author Elias-Al Achkar), Association of Banks in Lebanon

“The Impact of Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Development on Economic Growth in

GCC Countries”

Mandagolathur Raghu, Kuwait Financial Center

“The Changing Landscape of GCC Financial Services”

Lamia Obay, Abu Dhabi University

“Determinants of Capital Structure Decision for GCC listed Firms”

Randa Alami, SOAS

“The current role of stock markets in the GCC domestic economies”

Ahmed Al Mamari, Capital Market Authority

“Banker Compensation the Need for Restructuring”

Damien Horigan, American University in Dubai

“Some Legal Aspects of the DIFC and QFC”

Workshop 5: Population, Labor Markets and National Identity

Dr. Steffen Hertog

Sciences-Po, Paris

Dr. Rola Dashti

Kuwait Economic Society

The workshop on population, labor markets and national identity in the GCC was almost by

definition an interdisciplinary undertaking, touching on concerns of political science, economics,

demography, anthropology and geography. Major themes discussed include the demographic

imbalances of the region and the socio-cultural and economic tensions resulting, attempts to

address the imbalances through policies to nationalize local workforces, and the normative and

policy implications of these problems.

The majority of participants were political scientists, but the workshop also included representatives

of the disciplines of geography and philosophy as well as a practitioner from the human resources

field. Contributions included both concrete case studies based on field research and original

data, and more conceptual and theoretical papers with a comparative and disciplinary ambition.

Over the two days, the discussion congealed around a number of preliminary conclusions on the

costs of price vs. regulation-oriented labor market nationalization approaches, the importance

of differentiating types of migrants (whose socio-economic impact can be very different), and

the normative tensions between migrants’ rights and economic opportunities provided by open

GCC labor markets.

The first day opened with a presentation by Ayman Zohry on “Migration and National Identity in

the Arab Gulf Countries: The Case of the UAE.” Ayman provided a detailed statistical overview

of the unique demographic situation in the UAE and, importantly, its individual emirates. It was

followed by Nadine Scharfenort’s paper on “Citizenship vs. National Identity? Local Society in

Transition?” which gave a survey of socio-economic and cultural tensions resulting from the local

demographic situation in the GCC. Both papers led to a lively discussion about issues of demographic

data in the Gulf and the implications of demographic differences between the six cases.

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Javita Narang’s presentation was entitled “Children Born without a National Identity?” and

provided detailed case studies of stateless children in the Gulf born out of wedlock to foreign

mothers. A major theme of the subsequent discussion was how the situation of these children

might be improved without encouraging the phenomenon to spread.

Tracy Ann Scholl’s talk about “Ethics of Care in GCC Labor Law and Practices” represented

an attempt at finding a normative framework more appropriate to what are perceived as

unmeritocratic employment practices in the Gulf, proposing the “ethics of care” as an alternative

to conventional Western theories of justice. The discussion focused on different forms of nepotism,

different dimensions of “care” and the potential practical implications of such a normative shift.

Manal Jamal then delivered a presentation about “Nationality and the Construction of Citizenship

in the UAE,” explaining the lingering impact of the UK protectorate and its past geopolitical

interests on today’s citizenship policies in the smaller Gulf emirates. Issues debated by the

participants included potential differences in citizenship policies between smaller and larger Gulf

States and the particular economic implications of naturalization in high-rent oil monarchies.

The second day started with a presentation by Hasan Al-Hasan with the title “Labor Market

Reform in Bahrain: a Political Tug-of-War.” It provided a detailed analysis of the interest groups

and institutional modernization strategies involved in Bahrain’s recent regulatory reforms on the

labor market and about what these policies tell us about Bahrain as an entrepreneurial, but also

authoritarian regime. It was followed by Crystal Ennis’ paper about “The Omani Employment

Environment: Examining the Impact of ‘Omanization’ policies on the private and public sectors,”

which gave an overview of the employment challenges in Oman and the implementation issues

of Omanization given a segmented labor market. In the discussion of both papers, questions

of citizenship and how to reform labor markets without pushing nationals into poverty or

discriminating against expatriates recurred.

Tanwen Ellis’ talk then focused on “The Kafala System and Social Compacts in the GCC,” proposing

to explain different labor reform strategies in the region with the different shape state-society

relations have historically taken in smaller Gulf states. The ensuing debate centered around a

number of potential alternative or complementary explanations, including rents per capita and

relative demographic imbalances.

Michael Herb’s paper covered “Class Implications of Efforts to Reform Labor Markets in the Gulf

Monarchies” and called for the cautious reintroduction of class analysis to the political economy

of the GCC states; its main focus was the differentiated impact of different types of (potential)

labor reforms on various stakeholders in local society, namely capitalists, national employees in

public and private sector workers as well as expatriates.

Gwenn Okruhlik’s presentation “In the Shadows of Citizenship: Foreign Labor in the Arab Gulf”

discussed emerging socio-cultural and socio-economic conflicts between local and expatriate

society in the face of increased international interest in expatriate labor issues. It was followed

by a talk by Shannon McNulty entitled “Expecting a Brighter Future - The Challenges of Graduate

Placement in the GCC Workforce” which provided an initial tracer study of graduates at Qatar

Education City’s Texas A&M campus, focusing on differences between Qatari and international

students in their aspirations and initial job market successes.

The last presentation by Khalid Alyahya, “Linking Human Capital Development to Empowerment

and National Identity in the Gulf,” analyzed the disjuncture between the high-quality human

capital of often foreign-trained nationals and a local institutional context in which this human

capital is not put to good use.

The workshop concluded with a joint meeting with workshop 6 on immigration in the Gulf,

during which all participants briefly presented their research projects. The workshop directors

agreed on a provisional basis to work on a joint publication, possibly in a leading migration studies


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Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Steffen Hertog

Dr. Steffen Hertog is Kuwait Professor at Sciences Po in Paris, a senior consultant at the Gulf

Research Center, and a lecturer in political economy at the University of Durham (on leave).

He has previously worked as post-doctoral research fellow at Princeton University and wrote

his Ph.D. about Saudi economic reforms at the University of Oxford. He has been travelling

and working in the Middle East extensively since 2000, both as an academic and as resident

consultant with GTZ for the Saudi government. Steffen’s main interest lies in Gulf and Middle

East political economy, specifically Arab bureaucracies and state-business relations. He has a

subsidiary interest in processes of political liberalization and mobilization in the Gulf. Steffen has

lectured about Saudi and Gulf politics at conferences and workshops organized by Princeton

University, Oxford University, the London School of Economics, the National Defence University

in Washington, the University of Pennsylvania, the Brookings Institution, Sciences Po, the Saudi

Arabian General Investment Authority, the University of Exeter, the Saudi-British Society and

the European University Institute (Florence).His articles have been published in Sharq Al-Awsat,

Neue Zuericher Zeitung and Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Media appearances include Atlantic Monthly,

Guardian, Newsweek, the Observer and the Wall Street Journal. His academic publications have

appeared in leading political science and area studies journals, including International Journal of

Middle East Studies, Review of International Political Economy and Business History.

Dr. Rola Dashti

Dr. Rola Dashti is a Kuwaiti activist advocating democratic reform, gender equality and increased

roles for women in public life. Dr. Dashti lobbied for the May 2005 decree permitting Kuwaiti

women to vote and run for parliamentary elections for the first time. She was the first woman to

file her papers at the election department, when the registration opened, and she herself was a

candidate in the 2006 parliamentary election. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, she and three

other women won seats to become the first women to enter the Kuwaiti parliament. Rola Dashti

was listed among the world’s 100 most influential Arabs for 2007 and 2008. She was the first

woman elected to chair the Kuwaiti Economic Society, which was founded in 1970. In addition

to serving in this position, Dr. Dashti heads an international consultancy firm in Kuwait focusing

on privatization and activation of SMEs,. She is a member of the executive committee of Young

Arab Leaders and is the founder of the Women Participation Organization. She holds a PhD in

Population Economics from John Hopkins University.

Workshop 5 Papers

Tanwen Ellis, University of Berkeley

“The Kafala System and Social Compacts in the GCC”

Hasan Al-Hasan, Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po, Paris)

“Labour Market Reform in Bahrain: a political tug-of-war”

Nadine Scharfenort, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

“Citizenship vs. National Identity? Local Society in Transition?”

Javita Narang

“Children Born Without a National Identity?”

Crystal Ennis, University of Waterloo

“The Omani Employment Environment: Examining the Impact of Omanization? Policies on the

private and public sectors”

Michael Herb, Georgia State University

“Class implications of efforts to reform labor markets in the Gulf monarchies”

Gwenn Okruhlik, Trinity University

“In the Shadows of Citizenship: Foreign Labor in the Arab Gulf”

Tracy Ann Scholl, UAE University

“Ethics of Care in GCC Labor Law and Practices”

Shannon McNulty, Texas A&M University at Qatar

“Expecting a Brighter Future - The Challenges of Graduate Placement in the GCC Workforce”

Manal Jamal, James Madison University

“Nationality and the Construction of Citizenship in the UAE”

Ayman Zohry, Egyptian Society for Migration Studies

“Migration and National Identity in the Arab Gulf Countries: The Case of the UAE”

Khalid Alyahya, Dubai School of Government

“Linking Human Capital Development to Empowerment and National Identity in the Gulf”

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Workshop 6: The Impact of Migration on Gulf Development and Stability

Prof. Philippe


Robert Schuman

Centre for Advanced

Studies, European

University Institute

Prof. Nasra Shah

Kuwait University

The main goals of this workshop were to describe the current trends and patterns of migration,

and appraise the consequences of migration in terms of the costs and benefits for sending as well

as receiving countries. Another major goal was to assess the governance of migration in terms

of the sustainability of current migration patterns in light of the socio-demographic changes

occurring in the receiving countries, especially their efforts towards indigenization of the work

force .

The workshop received almost 40 proposals from which 14 were selected. In addition, each

of the workshop directors presented a paper. Participants included economists, demographers,

sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists resulting in a highly interdisciplinary debate

and discussion. While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received more coverage than the others,

at least one paper was presented on five of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The workshop began with an overview paper by Phillipe Fargues outlining the uniqueness of

the Gulf region in terms of the exceptionally high influx of migrant workers who have helped in

building the infrastructure and the economies of this region. It described three stages through

which the migration process has evolved and raised a question about the impact of past trends

and the current global economic recession on future trends. A general overview paper was also

presented by Abdelnabi Alekry on the challenges for changes posed by the expatriate workers in

the Gulf. Nasra Shah discussed the current labor force structure of nationals and non-nationals

in Kuwait. In addition to presenting a socio-demographic profile of the labor force based on 2008

data, she addressed the likely impacts of the current patterns on the possible future within the

context of the government’s restrictive policies.

Four papers focused on the UAE. The paper by Noora Lori entitled “Identifying Patterns of

National Hierarchies among Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates” highlighted the legal and

institutional mechanisms that have enabled the UAE to securitize the indigenous population

while preventing the naturalization of expatriates. An interesting discussion on the human rights

issues surrounding the intrusive surveillance techniques used by the country followed. Elizabeth

Shlala presented a paper on “The Influence of Skilled Migration on Healthcare in the UAE with

a case study of Abu Dhabi” that emphasized the public-private partnership in health care. Jane-

Bristol Rhys presented an ethnographic discussion of “Divided Communities: Migrants in the

UAE” describing the internal divisions among the major migrant communities in Abu Dhabi. In his

paper entitled “The Makers of Wonders: A Case Study of Expatriates in Dubai”, George Naufal

described the wages and type of jobs performed by those living in labor camps vs. those living in

non-labor camps.

Two papers focused on Saudi Arabia. Helene Thiollet presented a paper on “Migration and National

Identity in Saudi Arabia.” Philip Dehne presented a paper on “Migration Policies in Saudi Arabia”

and highlighted the difficulties inherent in efforts to indigenize the labor force and population.

David Mednicoff compared Qatar and the UAE in his paper on “Legal Regulation of Migrant

Workers and National Identity in Doha and Dubai” to assess the manner in which the high level

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of migration in these two countries has impacted legal change and regulation at the political and

global level. In his paper entitled “Migrants in Qatar: Some Micro-level Evidence”, Ganesh Seshan

described the socio-demographic and remittance profile of 128 migrant workers based on a 2007

survey. Regarding Oman, Mojca Zerovec and Marike Botenbal discussed the country’s efforts at

indigenizing the labor force, especially among women in the areas of teaching and nursing in their

paper on “Omanization, a Viable Strategy for Development?”

On a slightly different theme, Lucille Gruntz’s paper on “Wahahabisation, Egyptianisation, and

Globalization” examined the multifaceted role played by circular migration of Egyptians to Saudi

Arabia and other Gulf countries on the re-Islamization of contemporary Egypt. Finally, Rima Sabban

and Bina Fernandez addressed various issues in the employment of female domestic workers in

the GCC countries, with the former focusing on Dubai and the latter on Ethiopian workers.

Rima raised several questions about the possible reasons for the invisibility and marginalization

of domestic workers in Dubai. Bina discussed the dramatic increase in outflows of domestic

workers from Ethiopia and addressed various dynamics within Ethiopia and the Gulf shaping

this trend. The workshop concluded with a joint meeting with participants of Workshop 5 on

Population, Labor Markets and National Identity where each of the participants shared the main

idea of their research work. It was agreed by the directors of the two workshops that an effort

would be made to come up with a joint publication from the two workshops, possibly in a leading

migration journal.

Workshop Director Profiles

Prof Philippe Fargues

Prof. Philippe Fargues is a sociologist and demographer. He is currently Migration Programme

Director at the European University Institute, the founding Director of the Consortium for Applied

Research on International Migration (CARIM) and co-Director of the Florence School on Euro-

Mediterranean Migration and Development. He has been founding Director of the Center for

Migration and Refugee Studies Program at the American University in Cairo, a senior researcher

and head of the unit at the French National Institute for Demographic Studies in Paris, a visiting

professor at Harvard, and the Director of the Centre for Economic Legal and Social Studies

(CEDEJ) in Cairo. His research interests include migration and refugee movements, population

and politics in Muslim countries, family building, demographic methodologies and their application

to developing countries. He has numerous publications and he lectured in various universities in

Europe, Africa and the Middle East. His most recent publications include: Mediterranean Migration

Report 2008/2009; Work, Refuge, Transit: An Emerging Pattern of Irregular Immigration South and

East of the Mediterranean (International Migration Review, 2009, 43/3); Emerging Demographic

Patterns across the Mediterranean and their Implications for Migration through 2030 (Migration Policy

Institute, 2009); The Demographic Benefit of International Migration: Hypothesis and Application to

Middle Eastern and North African Contexts (International Migration, Economic Development and

Policy, The World Bank and Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); and his books include: Générations Arabes,

Christians and Jews Under Islam, The Economy of the Middle East in a Prospect of Peace, The Atlas of

the Arab World-Geopolitics and Society.

Prof. Nasra Shah

Prof. Nasra Shah, a Demographer/Sociologist, received her doctoral degree in Population Dynamics

from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA. Before joining Faculty

of Medicine at Kuwait University in 1988, she worked in Hawaii, USA and Pakistan. Her research

has focused on labour migration from Asia to the Gulf, the role of social factors in infant and

child mortality; predictors of fertility and contraceptive use; women’s role and status; utilization

of health services; and the importance of social networks in psychosocial health of older persons.

Her many publications include books on Pakistani Women, Asian Labour Migration, Basic Needs,

Women and Development, and Population of Kuwait: Structure and Dynamics.

Workshop 6 Papers

Noora Lori, Johns Hopkins University

“Identifying Patterns of National Hierarchies among Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates”

George Naufal, American University of Sharjah

“The Makers of Wonders: A Study Case of Expatriates in Dubai”

Lucile Gruntz, EHESS

“Wahhabisation or Egyptianization? Migration and Reciprocal Religious Influences across the Red Sea”

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Ganesh Seshan, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar

“Migrants in Qatar: Some Micro-Level Evidence”

David Mednicoff, University of Massachusetts

“Legal Regulation of Migrant Workers and National Identity in Qatar and the UAE”

Philipp Dehne, Institute of Islamic Studies

“Migration policies in Saudi Arabia”

Anastasia Erbe, Princeton University

“Migration in the Arab Gulf States and its Implications for National Security”

Mojca Zerovec (co-author Marike Bontenbal), University of Utrecht, German

University of Technology in Oman (GUtech)

“Omanization and its Impacts on the Migrant Communities in the Sultanate of Oman”

Rima Sabban, Zayed University

“Visibility and (In)visibility of Migrant Domestic Workers in the rise and fall of a model (Dubai)

of a Gulf Global Economy”

Bina Fernandez, School of Politics and International Studies - University of


“Cheap and compliant: the governance of Ethiopian women domestic workers’ labour migration

to GCC countries”

Helene Thiollet

“Migration and national identity in Saudi Arabia”

Jane Bristol Rhys, Zayed University

“Divided Communities: Migrants in the UAE”

Abulnadi Alekry, National Centre for Studies

“The Expatriate Workers in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), the Challenge for Change”

Elizabeth Shlala

“Gulf Migration Project Proposal”

Workshop 7: Developing an Agenda for Security Studies in the Gulf

Dr. Mustafa Alani

Gulf Research Center

Prof. Salih Al-Mani

King Saud University

The first presentation was given by Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Deputy Director and Research

Fellow at LSE Kuwait Research Programme, who presented a paper titled “The Challenge of

Transition: Gulf Security in the Twenty-First Century.” This paper examined the evolution of ‘Gulf

security’ in the oil-producing states of the Arabian Peninsula in response to a range of existing

and emergent threats and challenges. It argued that the rise of primarily non-military sources

of potential insecurity is profoundly reshaping the security paradigm in the Gulf States in the

medium- and longer-term. This is inextricably bound up with the broader impact of the processes

of globalization on the political economy of the Gulf States, which themselves are undergoing a

systemic transformation toward post-oil redistributive forms of governance. The paper argued

that concepts of security need to be re-conceptualized away from the emphasis on the national

security of states and toward a multi-level, holistic security approach.

Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, Professor of Political Science at the UAE University, presented a paper

titled “Gulf Security and Conflict Management: A GCC Perspective.” He explained in his paper

that the GCC, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary on May 25, 2011, stands out as the

only exception to the prevalence of regional tensions. One of the most defining features of

contemporary Gulf politics is that the relationship between the various states lacks harmony.

The eight incompatible states in the region have nearly always been engaged in all sorts of

‘instant’ as well as ‘constant’ disputes that are rarely satisfactorily settled. If anything these

conflicts are nearly always zealously exaggerated, mostly remain dormant or are simply deferred

which allows them to occasionally emerge as catalysts for fresh conflicts and crises that take

on a regional dimension and invite global intervention. The paper recommended a number of

confidence-building measures to help reduce tension in the region. One step towards genuine

CBMs in the Gulf would involve the major regional powers shouldering their political and moral

responsibilities to decrease regional tensions. Another necessary confidence-building measure

needed in the Gulf was a possible region-wide accord on arms control. The paper remarked that

although it is relatively new, even integration skeptics must admit that the GCC is here to stay.

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Indeed, it has been remarkable in its durability. It is proving to be one of those few cases - perhaps

the only case - in the Arab world where regional cooperation is not only working but actually

deepening, albeit in fits and starts.

In a paper titled “After Saddam: Restoring Balance in the Gulf,” Dr Judith S. Yaphe of the Institute

for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, Washington D.C., pointed out

that the GCC states are consumers and not producers of security, and far away from “jointness”

in military planning or strategic thinking. Their response to risk has been to seek stronger

commitments to their security from the US and European governments and to encourage their

new friends and customers in Asia – China, India, and Japan – towards greater cooperation as

well as arms and oil sales. The extent of their discussions with European and Asian governments

would seem to indicate that actual security cooperation may not have been raised and that none

of these governments are interested in contributing to Gulf security or protecting sea lanes and

access to oil and gas. The United States will be present in the Gulf for some time. The desire of

the US to reduce its military footprint and the vulnerability of forward deployed forces needs to

be balanced against the deterrent value of a visible US military presence in the Gulf. If friends and

enemies no longer see US forces and operations, they may conclude that the Gulf governments

are once again vulnerable to intimidation or outright threat and that the US is less likely to defend

its interests and honor its security commitments in the region.

A paper titled “When will Iran Stop Being an ‘External Enemy’ in the Eyes of the Gulf States?”

was presented by Dr. Özden Zeynep Oktav, Associate Professor at the Department of Political

Science and International Relations, Yıldız Technical University Istanbul, Turkey. The paper argued

that following the military presence of the United States in Iraq, the traditional balance of power

involving Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia was destroyed and it led to the creation of a power vacuum

in the Gulf region. Thus, the artificial triangular comprising the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia enabled

Iran to create a sphere of influence so as to instrumentalize the Iraqi Shiites and made the GCC

countries vulnerable to Iranian pressure. Further, the paper analyzed the identity issue in the

region as an example of the rise of Iran’s influence and the growing power of Iraq’s Shiite majority

which might affect the delicate sectarian balance within the GCC. The paper also discussed Iran’s

potential power to influence the Shiite population in the region which makes Iran a top priority

threat to the vested interests of the Gulf Arab states.

Dr. Birol Baskan from the Department of International Affairs at Qatar University in Doha

presented a paper titled “Turkey-GCC Relations: Is there a Future?” This paper addressed the

important question: Can Turkey play any role in the future Gulf security architecture? It argued

that Turkey can make critical contributions to Gulf security in some important areas, such as

in building effective state institutions and military training. More importantly, as the most likely

regional hegemonic power in the near future, Turkey can help build institutional mechanisms to

solve potential crises and thus alleviate the security dilemma of the GCC states vis-a-vis Iraq

and Iran. However, Turkey still lacks the necessary resources to play that role, for which it has to

develop a numerically and technologically superior military power and an effective international

intelligence gathering system, and turn itself into a major energy transit point connecting the

GCC states, Iraq, and Iran on the one hand with Europe.

Dr. Amy Kristine Holmes, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo,

presented a paper titled “Contradictions of the US Security Posture in the Gulf: Democratization

and the Navy in Bahrain.” The paper analyzed the interface between democratization and US

security relations with the Gulf. It began by briefly reviewing the ongoing debate over the future

direction of US foreign policy in the region. While on the one hand some continue to support

a large-scale US military presence in the Middle East coupled with a continued strategy of US

primacy, others advocate a more modest security footprint and a return to off-shore balancing. In

the second part of this paper, Bahrain was used as a case study in order to test the hypothesis that

an American security commitment can provide the social stability necessary for democratization.

Bahrain is an ideal choice for such an undertaking because it has hosted an American naval

presence since 1949 – longer than any other country in the region – and also has a relatively long

history of contentious politics. The paper focused on the initial wave of democratization in the

1970s, when free elections installed the first Bahraini parliament. The empirical evidence provided

was based on recently declassified archive documents and interviews with both US officials as

well as key figures in the opposition movement. The paper illustrated that a return to off-shore

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balancing in the Middle East may be an improvement over the strategy of primacy, but that it in

no way guarantees stability or democratization, but may even be detrimental to both.

Qatar, as a small, rich, intrinsically weak but protected state in the Arabian Gulf has a gamut of

issues to contend with, ranging from food security problems to population issues to hard security

issues, said David B. Roberts of the University of Durham in UK in a paper on “Qatar as US-

Iranian Intermediary?” Of the potential problems on Qatar’s horizon, arguably Iran’s presumed

attempts to acquire nuclear weapons loom largest. Both the US and particularly Israel appear

to be unwilling to allow this to happen. Yet could Qatar offer its services as an intermediary?

Not only does Qatar have recent experience – some of it very successful – of aiding in conflict

resolution but also it has arguably the best relations with Iran of any Arab country, stemming

largely from the exigencies of sharing the world’s largest gas field together. Furthermore, the

paper pointed out, Qatar has tried to bring Iran in from the cold in recent times, including inviting

them to the annual GCC meeting in 2007, unbeknownst to the other GCC members until the

day before the event.

Dr. Pierre Razoux from NATO Defense College in Rome presented a paper on “How could the

NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Contribute to Establish a More Secured Environment

in the Gulf?” The paper stated that now that the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) is into its

sixth year, it is time to draw up an initial balance sheet and envisage how the ICI, and NATO itself,

could contribute to establish a more secured environment in the Gulf. All the observers, experts,

and authorities involved in ICI monitoring agree that the aims set in June 2004 have now been

largely achieved, particularly in the field of military cooperation. It must be admitted, though, that

the ICI’s objectives were very modest. The ICI’s greatest asset is the lack of any misperceptions

about its content and philosophy, the paper said. Each of the parties is fully aware of its practical

scope and its limits. The aim is not to establish a dialogue between civilizations but to cooperate

in rigorously defined technical areas. The paper said that the ability of the ICI to contribute to

establishing a more secured environment in the Gulf will certainly depend on whatever offer

NATO decides to put on the table.

In a paper titled “The Redundancy of the Strategic Containment of Iran,” Dr. Robert Johnson

of Oxford University, UK, analyzed policies for the containment of Iran from the Revolution

of 1979, the Iran-Iraq War 1980-88, the war in Iraq from 2003, to the most recent efforts,

and argued that these ‘Cold War’ concepts of state containment and confrontation have been

rendered redundant by a shift in the character of warfare itself. Changes in the character of

warfare require a radical modification of the Cold War concept of containment. Gulf States

will need to develop capabilities to deal with internal enemies and the lines of communication

to their sponsors and backers. Proxy war, rather than conflict between states in a conventional

sense, has a long history that predates the war in Iraq, but the fragmentation of Baghdad’s

rule in 2003 may well be mirrored in other states in the region in the future. Long-running

insurgencies threaten the Gulf States not just militarily, of course, but also economically and

politically, adding imperatives for states outside of the region.

Dr. Thomas R. Mattair, Executive Director of the Middle East Policy Council in Washington

D.C. and Associate Editor of Middle East Policy, presented a paper on “US-GCC Relations in

the Post-Iraq war era” wherein he argued that the United States should encourage a more

significant multilateral GCC security framework, but maybe after first stabilizing Iraq and trying

diplomacy with Iran. The Obama administration should talk to Iran about the entire range

of differences between them, and not just the nuclear issue, and should find out if “win-win”

agreements are possible. The paper said that the GCC states could help by recognizing that Iran

has legitimate defensive needs like any other state. They should also be open to confidencebuilding

measures, compromises on maritime borders, and agreements on incidents at sea,

while continuing with cooperation on non-traditional security issues like drug trafficking.

“Regional Security Models Proposed for the Gulf Region” was the paper presented by Dr.

Ashraf Mohammed Kishk, Director of Diplomatic Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo. The

paper argued that the chances of cooperative security (which is the main pillar of regional

security) have given way to the strategic security of the “militarization of the region.” Imported

security remains the main guarantor of stability in the Gulf, whether through the continuation

of bilateral alliances with Western countries or with NATO through the Istanbul Cooperation

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Initiative. Regardless of the nature of the regional security system proposed, the system should

take the formula 6 +2 +1 – i.e. the six GCC countries, Iraq and Iran in addition to Yemen.

The exclusion of any regional party from future security arrangements could undermine the

concept of regional security. Furthermore, the paper recognized the need to move away from

unilateral policies towards a unified Gulf approach toward Iran in order to achieve the concept

of balance of power.

Dr. Sanju Gupta, JDMC, University of Delhi, presented a paper on “Regime Instability in Iraq

and the Geopolitics of Oil: Fallout for Asia’s Energy Security.” The paper stated that the power

contest in the unfolding international scenario rests with the “economic” variable. The locus of

global economic growth is rapidly shifting to Asia. This transition is led by China as well as India,

who have propelled themselves onto a robust growth trajectory to be fuelled by affordable

energy supplies. For countries whose economy is expected to grow at a brisk pace, the need

for secure supplies and increasing access to energy is a critical necessity. It is in this context that

the Gulf region, which is currently at the confluence of the most crucial trends of our times,

assumes significance. Some of the world’s most serious issues like religious extremism, WMD

proliferation, international terrorism, external intervention and regime instabilities have been

plaguing the Gulf region. The paper attempted to delineate how the contemporary turbulence

in Iraq has a bearing on the global oil geopolitics in general and the Asian energy security of

supply in particular.

“Iran and the Bomb: A Policy of Counter-productive Rationality” presented by Dr. Juha Mäkelä

of the Department of Strategic and Defence Studies at the Finnish National Defence University

dealt with security concerns arising from Iran’s ambitions connected to the country’s covert

nuclear program. It elaborated on the discourse on the subject between the international

community and Iran’s leadership. As a counterweight to the discourse on the effects of economic

sanctions, the main focus, as a hypothesis, lies on the existence of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons

program. The paper offered an analogy of secret nuclear weapons projects by weighing various

alternatives, including the use of military force, their advantages and disadvantages, and complex

alliances and interdependencies for and against Iran.

In a paper on “The Geo-strategic Dilemma of Kuwait in the Context of the Gulf Regional

Security Complex” Radhika Lakshminarayanan from Indian English Academy School examined

the critical security deficits of Kuwait. The paper tried to elucidate and evaluate the Kuwaiti

security culture and practices that have been adopted as responses to the evolving geo-security

environment in the region. It also examined the Iranian nuclear and missile proliferation

dynamics in the context of the counter-ideological appeal and its clear and present danger to

Kuwait. Finally, it assessed the prognostic trends and pathways of Kuwaiti responses to these

issues, challenges and threats.

Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Mustafa Alani

Dr. Mustafa Alani is a Senior Advisor at the GRC and Program Director in Security and Terrorism

Studies. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and

Security Studies in the United Kingdom. His research focuses on security developments in the

Gulf region, with particular emphasis on Iraq and Iran, and on Islamist terrorist organizations and

fundamentalist groups. Since 1988, Dr. Alani has acted as consultant and advisor to numerous

official and non-governmental institutions, and has spoken in front of the House of Commons on

a number of issues. He is the author of Operation VANTAGE: British Military Intervention in Kuwait

(London: LAAM, 1990); co-author of Saudi Arabia : The Threat from Within, Jane’s Intelligence Review

(no. 12), of Jane’s Sentinel Annual Report on Saudi Arabia (1996), and of The Future of Iraqi Oil

(New Venture Guide) (Robertson Research International, 1998). He has also authored numerous

articles and reports on security developments in Iraq, Iran and the GCC. He holds a PhD in

Politics from the University of Exeter, an MA in International Relations from Keele University and

a BA in Politics from the University of Baghdad.

Prof. Salih Al-Mani

Prof. Al-Mani holds a B.A. Degree in Political Science (1973), a Master’s Degree in Political Science

from the University of California (1976) and a Ph.D. with honours in International Relations from

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the University of Southern California (1981). His area of expertise revolves around the EU, theories

and research methodologies in International Relations, the Middle East and Political Economy.

Among his publications are The Euro-Arab Dialogue: A Study in Associative Diplomacy (1984) as well as

a series of articles and research papers including Possibilities and Mechanisms for Building Trust in the

Arabian Gulf at the Security and Military Levels (2001); Reflections on Tolerance and Arab-Islamic Societies,

in L. Eudora Pettigrew, ed., Universities and Their Role in World Peace (2002); and The Search for

an Optimal Gulf Security Regime from a Gulf Perspective, in Christian Koch, ed., EU-GCC Relations and

Security Issues: Broadening the Horizon (2008).

Workshop 7 Papers

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, LSE Kuwait Research Programme

” The Challenge of Transtition: Gulf Security in the Twenty-First Century”

Judith Yaphe, National Defense University

“After Saddam: Restoring Balance in the Gulf”

Pierre Razoux, NATO Defense College

“What future for the NATO Istanbul Cooperation Initiative within the Gulf area?”

Thomas Mattair, Middle East Policy Council

“US-GCC Relations in the Post-Saddam Era: An Enduring Partnership for Regional Stability?”

Sanju Gupta, JDMC, University of Delhi

“Regime Instability in Iraq and the Geo-Politics of Oil: Fall out for Asia’s Energy Security”

Juha Mäkelä, National Defence University

“Iran and the bomb: a policy of counter-productive rationality”

Ashraf Kishk, Cairo University

“Regional Security Models Proposed for the Gulf Region”

Birol Baskan, Qatar University

“Turkey-GCC Relations: Is there a Future?”

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, UAE University

“Regional Relationship and Prospect For Conflict Management in the Gulf”

David Roberts, Durham University

“Qatar as US-Iranian intermediary”

Robert Johnson, University of Oxford

“The Redundancy of the Strategic Containment of Iran”

Amy Kristine Holmes, American University in Cairo

“Contradictions of the US Security Posture in the Gulf: Democratization and the Navy in Bahrain”

Özden Zeynep Oktav, Yıldız Technical University

“When will Iran Stop Being an ‘External Enemy’ in the Eyes of the Gulf States? A Turkish


Radhika Lakshminarayanan, Indian English Academy School

“ The Geo-strategic Dilemma of Kuwait in the Context of the Gulf Regional Security Complex”

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Workshop 8: The Governance of Higher Education in the Gulf

Cooperation Council Region

Prof. André Elias


University of British


Prof. Ronald G. Sultana

University of Malta

The impressive expansion of higher education opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council

(GCC) member states over the last two decades is well reflected in the systemic heterogeneity

that currently characterizes higher education systems across the region. Higher education systems

include a wide variety of public and private institutions, as well as a range of undergraduate

and technical institutions, geared towards academic and vocational aspirations. Within this larger

context, the trend towards privatization and Americanization of higher education systems in

the GCC region has been most noticeable. Some analysts have pointed out that this expansion

should be understood within the larger geopolitical reconfigurations that have taken place in the

Gulf since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

Within this broader context, the reconfiguration of the higher education landscapes in the GCC

region play an important role in consolidating the emerging position of power of the Gulf states

within the region and in relation to the Arab world more generally. Yet, the transformation of

GCC higher education systems into regional hubs – both in relation to incoming students and to

prospective faculty members who immigrate into the region – also means greater competition

between and, in the case of the UAE, within GCC states.

Underpinning the expansion of GCC higher education opportunities is the shift from a continental

model of higher education governance, which largely replicated the structure of Egyptian public

universities, to a variety of models of governance in which state and non-state actors have

become increasingly involved in the development of higher education venues along different

specializations. In the smaller Gulf states, this change is well reflected in a retreat of the state from

founding public universities directly, shifting part of their policy efforts and funding resources to

private and quasi-private entities and agencies. This policy approach has been most noticeable,

for instance, in the Sultanate of Oman, Kuwait, and in the United Arab Emirates, where private

and corporate enterprise in the field of higher education underpins much of the expansion in

higher education opportunities. In these countries, the state assumes a more regulative posture,

particularly regarding outreach universities, whether at the graduate or undergraduate level. In

contrast, higher education expansion in Saudi Arabia follows a somewhat different path, with the

state remaining deeply involved in the funding and operation of public higher education venues,

such as universities, while regulating the emergence of different types of undergraduate colleges

dubbed as ‘community institutions’.

One of the central issues that have been left out in the larger discussion on GCC higher

education, concerns the impact this expansion has on the national and regional systems of

governance regulating the field of higher education. Many questions arise at this junction, offering

an opportunity to deepen our understanding and knowledge of the current possibilities and

challenges that face higher education governance in the GCC region.

To discuss the above issues, the workshop brought together research papers that delved into the

various aspects of higher education governance. The contributions offered a set of critical insights

into the different factors that shape decision-making processes both internally, and in relation to

the state and outside publics and stakeholders. Each presentation was followed by a discussant

who helped identify the major issues at stake and the questions that need to be engaged.

The workshop started with Ronald Sultana’s critical introduction of the possible approaches to the

notion of higher education governance. Sultana reviewed studies undertaken in various contexts

around the world in terms of elucidating trends in governance research and its implications for

a study of GCC higher education governance. The presentation was followed by André Mazawi’s

note on the complexities involved in approaching higher education governance in the GCC

region. Mazawi’s presentation emphasized the centrality of the political economy prevalent in

the GCC region, as well as geopolitical dynamics in terms of understanding the forces that shape

higher education governance in the region.

The first two papers focused on the intersections between accreditation, quality control and higher

education governance. Neema Noori (from the University of Georgia) presented his paper entitled

“Overlapping Spheres of Governance: Accreditation Agencies and American-style Universities in

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the Middle East,” in which he discussed the contradictory forces that operate between home

and outreach institutions of higher education in terms of the way they engage demands placed

on students, faculty and on teaching. Samia Costandi (Ahliya University) expanded the discussion

by offering a critique of quality control policies and how they infuse a managerialist relationship

between academics and the larger university. In her paper entitled “Academic Governance in

Bahrain: Quality Control versus Intellectual Integrity and Academic Freedom,” Costandi offered

the audience an important engagement with the work of Edward W. Said and the relevance of his

work to our understanding of the politics of higher education governance.

The intersection between higher education governance and citizenship was the focal point of the

next set of papers. In a paper entitled “Higher Education for Global Citizenship in the Arabian

Gulf – a Regional Approach?” Sally Findlow (Keele University) discussed the contours of a model

that would help us approach the central issues of higher education in the GCC region. Central to

her reflection is a concern for an approach to higher education governance in the GCC region

that would link academic culture and the broader politics of the state and of community-based

groups and agenda. Pushing further, Bryan Gopaul and Nadeem Memon (both from the University

of Toronto) presented their paper, “Enacting Institutional Missions: The Relationship between

Institutional Aims of Global Citizenship Education and Curricular Priorities in the GCC.” In this

paper, Gopaul and Memon presented their findings of private and public universities in the UAE

in terms of how they articulate conceptions of ‘global citizenship’ within their curricula.

How is the governance of GCC higher education institutions affected by policy initiatives and

internationalization? This aspect of the workshop’s proceedings was addressed by four papers.

The first, by Hajra Waheed (McGill University), offered a critique of neoliberal policies that

underpin the expansion of for-profit higher education institutions in the UAE. In a paper entitled

“Neoliberalism and Higher Education: A Case Study of Dubai’s International Academic City,”

Waheed offered a sustained deconstruction of the contradictions and tensions associated with

such endeavors. The second paper, presented by Mary Catharine Lennon (University of Toronto),

was entitled “Breaking the Mould: A Gulf State Model of Cross-border Higher Education.” In this

paper, Lennon attempted to explore the contours of a conceptual model which would direct

attention to the multifaceted aspects associated with cross-border education, and their cultural,

economic and political implications. The third paper was presented by Jason Lane (University of

New York at Albany), entitled “International Branch Campuses in the GCC: Governing Locally

or Globally.” In his paper, Lane showed how international branch campuses end up developing

differential modes of governance that are shaped at the juncture of local and global contexts. The

fourth and last paper, presented by Torsten Brandenburg (University of Mainz), explored “The

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Political Economy of Internationalization of Higher Education in the Sultanate of Oman.” In his

paper, Brandenburg presented the findings of his fieldwork, showing how the distinction between

national and other public/private institutions reproduces socioeconomic distinctions between

diverse constituencies, offering differential opportunity structures to different groups in Oman.

In addition to the presenting contributors, the workshop was extremely well attended throughout

the three days. A number of doctoral students, as well as high profile academics and administrators

from various GCC universities actively participated in and contributed to the deliberations and


Workshop Director Profiles

Prof. André Elias Mazawi

André Elias Mazawi is associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is also an associate fellow at the Euro-

Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research at the University of Malta.

Prof. Ronald G. Sultana

Ronald Sultana is a professor in the Department of Education Studies at the University of Malta,

where he also leads the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research. He is the founding

editor of the Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies.

Workshop 8 Papers

Ala Al Hamarneh, University of Mainz

“Knowledge economy versus education outlets – Rethinking the internationalization models of

higher education in the GCC”

Neema Noori, University of West Georgia

“Overlapping Spheres of Governance: Accredidation Agencies and American-style Universities in

the Middle East”

Samia Costandi, Ahliya University

“Academic Governance in Bahrain: Quality Control versus Intellectual Integrity and Academic


Jason Lane, University of New York at Albany

“International Branch Campuses in the GCC: Governing Locally or Globally”

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Torsten Brandenburg, University of Mainz

“The Political Economy of Internationalization Models of Higher Education in Oman”

Mary Catharine Lennon, University of Toronto

“Breaking the Mould: A Gulf State Model of Cross-Border Higher Education”

Sally Findlow, Keele University

“Higher Education for Global Citizenship in the Arab Gulf?”

Hajira Waheed, McGill University

“Neoliberalism and Higher Education: A Case of Dubai’s International Academic City”

Bryan Gopaul (co-author Nadeem Memon), University of Toronto

“ Enacting Institutional Missions: The Relionship between Institutional Aims of Global Citizenship

Education and Curricular Priorities in the GCC”

Workshop 9: Environmental Policies in the Gulf

Dr. Mohammed

A. Raouf

Gulf Research


Prof. Walid K.

Al- Zubari

Arabian Gulf University

One of the main goals for this workshop was to explore the various environmental policies in the

Gulf, and how these policies will impact sustainable development. In a paper entitled “Summary

of Environmental Policy in Oil and Gas Companies, Yemen” Adil Al-Hababy and Abdul Wahab

Al-Zubairi examined Yemen’s environmental challenges, including institutional and regulatory

provisions. They also focused on the control of environmental pollution by oil companies in

Yemen, which is very difficult given the socio-economic and political conditions in the country.

They reflected on the situation in the GCC, where oil is the main source of income and there

is a tendency to relax some regulations since the would-be polluter is the regulator. The paper

reviewed the existing management framework for environment pollution control in the oil

industry and the applicability of national and international environmental policy guidelines in oil

and gas companies in Yemen. It argued the need for adoption by oil companies of a new approach

to environmental standards, planning and legislation in Yemen, and proposed clear solutions that

can improve the formulation and implementation of environmental policy in Yemen.

Green Technology was also discussed in a paper by Nilly Kamal. After an illustration of GT trends

in the world, indicating Germany as the leading country in this field, Kamal indicated that in the

GCC there are many initiatives at the country level, especially in UAE and KSA. However, on

the regional level, there are no GCC initiatives. The GCC charter does not have environmental

cooperation as a basic objective. She stated the challenges and proposed solutions starting from

R&D and knowledge building at the regional level, and ending with establishing an authority on

renewable energy, for both use and produce.

Jim Krane from the University of Cambridge presented a paper on the Political and Strategic

Rationale for Energy Diversification in the UAE. He presented future plans for energy sources and

management in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, including solar, wind, hydrogen, and nuclear in addition

to the traditional fossil fuels. Then he focused on nuclear energy and posed several hypotheses

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about the regime’s potential to benefit from nuclear technology He said these benefits offered

an additional rationale for Abu Dhabi’s investment in nuclear energy, although it is not currently

competitive in cost compared with fossil fuels. The thesis stirred a lot of debate and most agreed

that most of these hypotheses are speculative and need to be tested with more observations in

the future.

A pressing issue facing the GCC is that of water resources, and how best to sustainably manage

the limited amounts of water in the region. Waled Al-Zubairi from the Arabian Gulf University

focused on such issues in his paper “Alternative Water Policies in the GCC.” After a presentation

on the sources and uses of water, the problems and challenges faced in the management of water

resources and the efforts being made in water resources management in the GCC, he presented

alternative water policies and showed that the water sector even at his best performance and

using all the available tools would not be able to achieve any water sustainability for the GCC,

for all the driving forces of the water sector are located outside its domain of management and


The issue of water as a resource was continued with a case study on the situation in Singapore,

which provides a good example for the GCC to consider. Faith Hu’s Paper was on water scarcity,

and her presentation included the key water issues in the GCC, i.e., water security vs. food

security; water pricing, and privatization. She also presented Singapore’s experience in water

management, exploring the feasibility and repercussions of the transposition of water management

policies. She emphasized environmental education and awareness to be a major cornerstone to

solve the issue of water scarcity.

From water the discussion moved on to food, with food security being the topic of the

workshop’s next paper. Salma Bani from the Ministry of Municipalities and Agricultural Affairs

in Bahrain presented a paper on the impact of Climate Change on Food Security with special

reference to Bahrain’s Sustainable Agricultural Development. She started with a definition of

what is meant by food security, and she gave a brief account on the conditions of agriculture in

Bahrain. She used food security as a conceptual framework to evaluate how government food

policy interacts with the local food systems to produce food security and analyzed the impact of

these policies on sustainable agricultural development and highlighted the main achievements in

terms of enhancing the level of food self-sufficiency. After a discussion on the issue of agricultural

production and climate change, she outlined a strategic option for sustained agricultural growth

and increased food productivity. Also, she presented her thesis that Bahrain should concentrate

its production on crops that the country has a comparative advantage in and adopt modern

agricultural techniques, such as hydroponics.

One of the main themes of the workshop, that of Environmental policies in the Gulf was then

discussed. Bringing together a lot of what was previously discussed, Mohammed Abdel Raouf

focused on the use of Economic Instruments in Environmental Policies. His introduction covered

policy failures and market failures in the environmental field, and then he illustrated the differences

between Command-and-Control and Economic Instruments and gave examples on each. He

indicated the importance of designing a policy mix of CAC and EI and to be supported by

awareness and education.

Then came the discussion of how to implement environmental sustainability in the decision

making process. Kassem El-Saddik discussed this in his paper which sought to explore how to

integrate environmental aspects in the decision making process in the GCC. He highlighted

the institutional and legal frameworks of the widely known tool, namely Environmental Impact

Assessment and described its scope – mostly limited to project level. He then discussed

the potential to take a further step to mainstream environmental assesment within sectoral

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policies and plans by proposing SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment). Though strategic

environmental assessment can take different shapes, Kassem advocated for the EIA-based SEA

to be implemented immediately in GCC to address the escalating environmental pressures, and

showcased Abu Dhabi’s pioneering initiative to legislate SEA.

Oman’s environmental policies were discussed by Mohammed AlKalbani from the Ministry of

Environment and Climate Affairs. His paper focused on the Sultanate’s efforts in environmental

management and protection, and indicated the main challenges faced, which included, the shortage

of staff and capacity building.

One of the most interesting aspects about this workshop was the diversity of the countries that

the participants came from. While there was a strong contingent of participants from the Gulf,

contributions from Singapore also helped explore environmental policies in other parts of the

world. The workshop also had a contribution from Malaysia, with Azhan Bin Hasan and Hezlina

Mohd Hashim from the Universiti Teknologi and Petronas respectfully. Their paper entitled

“Realigning Ecological Needs And Economic Growth to Formulate Environmental Policy For the

Gulf States” examined and analyzed the ecologically sustainable policy for the benefits of local

population. The use of nature as a policy tool will make the society internalize their own interest

to address the concern for biodiversity conservation as a component of development strategy.

Finally the workshop was concluded with a paper by Ulrich Malessa on the role of the GCC in

the global timber trade. He indicated that the GCC is becoming an important timber consuming

region and they have a role and responsibility to play to join the international community to

tackle illegal timber trade. He clarified different international players around the world in illegal

timber trade and the GCC position and what can be done to stop or limit such illegal trade.

The main conclusion of the workshop is that effective and updated environmental policy is

very crucial for sustainable development. There is big room for improvement of environmental

policies in the GCC countries to cope with the new environmental threats and changes in the

international arena.

Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Mohammed Raouf

Dr. Mohammad Aly Raouf Abdul-Hamid is a Program Manager - Environment Research at

the GRC and the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Forum on Environment and Sustainable

Development. Prior to holding this position, he worked as a freelance consultant and lecturer in

Environmental Accounting and Economics at the Environmental Institute at Ain Shams University

in Cairo, Egypt, where he participated in a number of conferences and consultancy projects. He

has also served as a consultant in the Government of Egypt’s Ministry of Industry and a financial

analyst for the Badr Petrolreum Company (BAPETCO). Dr. Raouf has authored a number of

articles on environmental accounting, contracting and decision-making for publications both in

Egypt and elsewhere, and has also submitted a number of conference papers on similar subjects.

He received his doctorate in Environmental Sciences from Ain Shams University in October 2003

and has since participated in a number of training courses in economics, accounting, business

administration and environmental sciences.

Dr. Waleed Khalil Al-Zubari

Dr. Waleed Khalil Al-Zubari currently holds the position of professor in the Desert and Arid

Zones Sciences Program, College of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University (AGU). He has

published more than 45 papers in refereed journals, conferences and seminars in the fields of

Groundwater resources development, management, and planning, use of numerical modeling in

the assessment, development, and management of groundwater system, and geostatistical mapping

methods applied to groundwater hydrology and pollution, and stochastic groundwater modeling.

He has also initiated and conducted a number of training courses at AGU. Dr. Al-Zubari is

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the Editor-in-Chief of the regional Arabian Gulf Journal of Scientific Research (AGJSR) since

September 2006, and he serves as a referee for many regional and international journals. Dr. Al-

Zubari served as a member of the UNESCO’s Theme Advisory Board (TAB) for the International

Hydrology Program, IHP-VI, Paris (2002-2007), and is serving now as a member of the Global

Working Group for UNESCO’s Water Education. Dr. Al-Zubari has been active in the Water

Science and Technology Association (WSTA), a Water-related NGO organization in the GCC

countries, and has made contributions to the water scientific committee, as he served as the

Chairman of the Scientific Committees of the WSTA Third (Oman, 1997), Fourth (Bahrain, 1999),

Fifth (Qatar, 2001), and Seventh (Kuwait, 2005) Gulf Water Conferences. He was elected as the

president of the WSTA (2001-2003), and he chaired the WSTA Sixth Gulf Water Conference held

in Riyadh in 2003.

Workshop 9 Papers

Nilly Kamal Elamir, University of Cairo

“Investing in the Green Technology: Future Scenario for Improving Environment in the Gulf States”

Azhan Bin Hasan (co-author Hezlina Mohd Hashim), Universiti Teknologi, Petronas

“Realigning Ecological Needs and Economic Growth to Formulate Environmental Policies for the

Gulf Countries”

Ulrich Malessa, UICN Sur, Ecuador

“The role of the Gulf Region in a responsible global timber trade”

Faith Hu, Singapore Management University

“Water scarcity in the Middle East: From human rights to regional integration”

Salma Bani, Agricultural Economist, Bahrain

“The impact of Climate Change on Food Security with special reference to Bahrain: Sustainable

Agricultural Development”

Mohammed A. Raouf, Gulf Research Center

“The Use of Economic Instruments in Environmental Policies”

Mohammed AlKalbani, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Oman

“Environmental Policies and Legislations in the Sultanate of Oman towards Sustainable


Abdulwahab Al-Zubairi, (co-author Adil Al-Hababy - Hodeidah University) Safer

Exploration Production Oil Company, Yemen

“Summary of Environmental Policy for Oil and Gas Companies in Yemen”

Kassem H. El Saddik, The Executive Council

“Integrating environmental sustainability in decision-making in the Arabian Gulf States: SEA as a

policy tool”

Jim Krane, University of Cambridge

“Energy conservation options for the GCC governments”

Walid Al-Zubari, Arabian Gulf University

“Alternative Water Policies in the GCC”

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The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Workshop 10: EU-GCC Relations

Dr. Geoffrey


University of


Dr. Abdullah Babood

Gulf Research Centre,


The aim of the workshop was to explore the interaction between the EU and the GCC, both

significant global actors with enormous economic and financial weight. While GCC-EU relations

might, therefore, be seen as an attempt at cooperating in managing global issues through such

mutually beneficial issues as trade, investment, energy, development and even Gulf and regional

security, they have proved to be limited. In some ways the GCC and the EU appear to be growing

apart, and the gap between them widening, at least at the institutional level.

After an introduction by Abdullah Baabood, sessions were held on three closely inter-related

themes, the economic relationship, the wider political framework and the security interaction.

Abdullah Baabood suggested that a new paradigm in EU-GCC relations was emerging after

a period of missed opportunities. The EU-GCC Action Plan announced in June 2010 was in

part compensation for the failure to agree on a free trade agreement after two decades of

negotiation. The relationship appears to have developed in waves of mutual dependence but

divergent priorities: the demand for oil has ebbed and flowed and prices have been volatile; while

Europe has been preoccupied with enlargement and constitutional change, China’s demand for

oil has constantly increased and the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, have invested heavily in

both their own infrastructure and overseas (especially the Mediterranean and Europe itself), with

Saudi Arabia becoming one of the G20. Europe had become much more the demandeur both in

terms of energy and security concerns.

Two papers looked at the EU-GCC free trade agreement. The paper by Selen Guerin and

Consuelo Pacchioli, presented by the latter, looked at the potential effects of the free trade

agreement on non-oil trade. In a rigorous economic analysis which used both contemporary

methodologies 1 and a comparison with the potential realized in other free trade agreements

negotiated by the EU, the authors’ findings were that, even if the forming of the GCC and later

the customs union had had a positive impact on EU-GCC trade, over the longer run, the GCC

countries had not enjoyed an above average trade among EU trade partners. However, their

benchmarking exercise suggested that GCC countries could expect a significant increase in

trade with EU when or if an FTA was signed.

Anja Zorob, however, projecting Putnam’s two level game approach2 to a third inter-bloc level

between the domestic and the international, looked at the FTA negotiations themselves and the

reasons for their prolongation. The GCC had suspended the negotiations in 2008 ostensibly on the

basis that the EU had continuously introduced new issues into the negotiations. She hypothesized

that, while the EU had narrowed down the issues on which it saw advantage (beyond trade, to

services and public procurement on which the GCC countries had not yet reached agreement

among themselves), the GCC’s expectations had widened, with the added experience and technical

1Such as Baier, Scott L., and Jeffrey H. Bergstrand, 2004. “Economic Determinants of Free Trade Agreements,” Journal

of International Economics 64 (1), 29--63.

2Robert D. Putnam. “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games.” International Organization.

42 (Summer 1988).

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expertise gained through negotiations

with other countries. There remained an

institutional mismatch between the EU

and GCC, but critical were the remaining

conflicting interests within both the EU and

the GCC.

Within the framework of the EU-GCC

relationship, Vrushal Ghoble focused on

energy issues. He, too, pointed out that

while the EU might be seeking to diversify

its energy sources, the Gulf States were

increasingly attracted by Asian markets. But

at the same time Europe is suffering from

significant divisions – not least over Russian

gas and its delivery and over alternative

sources - its energy needs are growing

and the Gulf remains a critically important

source. Whatever leverage the EU enjoys in the GCC market for its exports, its energy needs

need to be set against the broader more global demands.

Erwin Nierop examined the GCC’s proposed Monetary Union in the light of any lessons to be

drawn from Europe’s Monetary Union. Perhaps the delays already announced in the creation

of the GMU were not particularly surprising insofar as it had taken the Europeans some 13

years actually to realize EMU, with seven of those required to meet the economic and legal

convergence deemed to be necessary. In addition to such criteria, he saw a number of essential

conditions designed to remove prohibitive obstacles which included a strong legal framework

that determined the role not only of a Gulf Central Bank (GCB) but national central banks, an

institutional framework that allowed for the GCB to be independent of its members in determining

exchange rates etc. while retaining transparency and maintaining the overall goal of financial stability.

The broader political dimensions of the EU-GCC were discussed in papers presented by

Radoslaw Bania and Engy Mansy. Both focused on the obstacles to closer cooperation. Despite

its aspirations towards, for example,

monetary union, the GCC as yet had few

of the supranational properties of the

EU. Nor had the customs union yet been

completed and its implications realized

by all GCC members. The institutional

mismatch between negotiators also made

for obstacles in this long-running blocto-bloc

leading to a conclusion that the

dialogue had not provided a framework for

improving relations – at least as yet. This

was particularly the case in the security

relationship where improvements in EU-

NATO-GCC relations were in part a

function of the GCC’s relationship with the

United States. It was also more fundamentally

a function of the relationship of individual

GCC states with EU member states as well

as with the United States. But it was also the

case that the EU was unrealistic – at least

in its rhetoric – about human rights and issues of governance and, as in its relations with other

MENA countries, its expectations of the GCC states’ willingness and capacity for political change.

The EU’s emphasis on conditionality and lack of consistency in policy priorities towards the

MENA region meant that both authors saw the need for greater coherence on the part of the EU.

The issue of the GCC and its neighborhood was taken up by Riccardo Dugulin. Once again

the question was posed as to whether there were lessons for the GCC from the experience

of the EU in terms of its Neighbourhood Policy. Individual GCC states have been increasingly

active in the Gulf and Middle East – in part because of the immediacy of various crises in the

region – Iraq, Iran, Yemen as well as Israel/Palestine. But the issues this gives rise to include: the

extent to which and how the GCC together can be more effective than its individual members;

the common framework required for a Gulf Neighborhood Policy; and the specificities of

such a Policy given the need for differentiating between relationships with different neighbors.

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In this context, Valeria Piacentini Fiorani raised the question not simply of the EU-GCC context of a

common neighborhood but of bilateral relationships many of which still seemed to dominate. She

also raised the particular role of Turkey and its re-structuring of its relations with its non-European

neighbors. Abdullah Baabood also raised the question of a broader relationship between Europe and

the Gulf and other Arab states through the Arab League, including the Greater Arab Free Trade Area

(GAFTA), particularly in view of the impossibility of extending the Euro-Med relationship to the Gulf.

Nursin Guney and Visne Korkmaz focused on European security concerns and their ramifications

for the GCC in their joint paper. With its policy of a Common Security and Defense Policy,

Europe had an opportunity to redefine its approach to security and crisis management.

Circumstances since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and with the assertiveness of Iran

were very different in the region. Europe faced a particularly difficult dilemma in trying to balance

its interests in the stability and security of the region with its more normative approach towards

democratization and the protection of human rights and coming up with a coherent policy.

Dario Cristiani explored more deeply the issue of nuclear proliferation and EU-Gulf relations,

seeing it as a case of Civilian Power – in this case both the EU and the GCC - facing ‘hard’ security

issues. The EU has long pursued non-proliferation of WMDs as a key policy (as declared, for

example, in the European Security Strategy of 2003), even if seemingly accepting Israel’s adoption of

nuclear weapons while condemning Iran’s efforts to acquire that capability. But the new geopolitical

dynamics such factors introduce logically suggest a strategic interdependence between Europe and

the GCC countries, but there appears to be remarkably limited debate so far between the two.

In the discussion, Francis Baert, took up the issue of the mismatch of institutional and political

structures between the EU and its member states and the Gulf and its members. If the former is

a highly institutionalized, bureaucratized system, it was in stark contrast to the networked system

of the Gulf dominated by individual leaders. Given the very different demands on societies and

its structures posed by the risks of terrorism, migration, trafficking, the environment etc, a highly

flexible yet coordinated response was needed which posed particular problems for both Europe

and the Gulf.

Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Geoffrey Edwards

Dr. Geoffrey Edwards is a Reader in European Studies and holds a Jean Monnet chair in Political

Science. He is a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he is also a Graduate Tutor.

He has held research posts at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a number of other

institutions including the Federal Trust and Chatham House. He specialises in the European Union,

its institutions and its foreign and security policies. In the Centre he teaches courses on European

Security and Foreign Policy and on the Politics of European Integration. He has also taught on the

papers on European integration and British politics at undergraduate level. His recent publications

have focused on the EU’s foreign policy with articles on European security culture, the EU’s

foreign policy and the impact of the new Member States, on the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy,

on EU-Gulf relations and on the EU Counter-terrorist policies - the last in a special issue of the

Journal of Common Market Studies in January 2008.

Dr. Abdullah Baabood

Dr. Abdullah Baabood is the director of the Gulf Research Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Abdullah graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration, a Master’s in International

Relations as well as a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. Dr.

Baabood has a general interest in International Politics and Economics, particularly in the areas

of globalization and regionalism. His research interests also focus on the GCC states’ economic,

social and political development and GCC’s external relations. He has published, presented and

attended several International seminars and workshops on these topics. Dr. Baabood is a member

of a number of academic and professional bodies and holds board memberships for several

business organizations and committees.

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Workshop 10 Papers

Valeria Piacentini (co-author Valeria Centinaro), Università Cattolica del Sacro


“The Gulf: Ankara’s Asiatic Role - The Cultural-Factor and Political and Social Reformulations”

Vrushal Ghoble, Jawaharlal Nehru University

‘EU – GCC Energy Trade: Prospects and Challenges’

Radoslaw Bania, University of Lodz

“EU-GCC Relations: Do they really need each other?”

Riccardo Dugulin, Sciences Po

“What Neighbourhood Policy for the GCC?”

Francis Baert, United Nations University

“The European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council: the security dimension”

Anja Zorob, Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science, Free University of Berlin

EU-GCC Free Trade Negotiations: A Never-ending Story?

Dario Cristiani, King’s College, University of London

“Nuclear Proliferation and EU-GCC Relations”

Engy Mansy, School of Oriental and African Studies

“EU-GCC Political Relations: And so the story goes on…”

Nursin Guney (co-author Visne Korkmaz), Yildiz Technical University

“Different Worlds? Different Words? Regional Security Concerns of the EU and Ramifications for

the GCC”

Consuelo Pacchioli, Center for European Policy Studies

“The Potential of an EU-GCC FTA: A Benchmarking Exercise”

Erwin Nierop, European Central Bank

“The GCC’s Monetary Union: Lessons from the EU”

Workshop 11: Gulf- China Relations

Prof. Tim Niblock

University of Exeter

Dr. Mei Zhang

Shanghai Institute for

International Studies

Scholars, practitioners from different countries and disciplines discussed issues related to

economic relations, China’s policies to the GCC, the bilateral relationship between China and

the Gulf States and the implications of Chinese growing presence on the third party. Energy and

petrochemical trade and cooperation are the key cementing China-Gulf relations. The Gulf region

is a vital source for China’s growing oil demand, yet, it is not the only major one. Driven by two

key measures taken by Chinese government: ‘easier access to oil’ and ‘keep away from oil,’ Angola

and Sudan have become China’s main energy suppliers. However, the GCC would be the main

supplier for China in the future because the Gulf States would have much more spare capacities

than other producers. In the coming years, China would be one of most important markets for

Gulf investors. Yet, the most challenging barrier is the lack of knowledge of Chinese bureaucratic

process involved in investment procedures and the networks of relationships within the Chinese

system involving politicians, bureaucrats and senior company executives. On Chinese investment

in the GCC, it is insignificant and mainly involved in contracting work.

Four factors would have implications on China-Gulf relations in the future, namely, the ‘no historical

baggage’ factor, the ‘no political’ factor, the ‘mutual dependence’ factor and the credibility factor.

Due to pros and cons of each factor, China should not overplay them. China’s economic presence

hurts the local traditional industries. In Iran, China’s presence has caused some social concerns

from the grassroots level. The inflow of cheap Chinese products has significant impacts on Iran’s

traditional handicraft, textile and other manufacturing sectors.

The US factor is an important factor affecting China’s policies to the Gulf, as well as the Middle

East. China’s foreign policies are prioritized on major powers and neighboring powers. With the

domestic issues and pressures, it had neither the capacities nor willingness to challenge the US

hegemony in the region. Yet, the changes in the international system, the global economic downturn,

the improving relations between China and the US, and the growing calls for China to share more

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international responsibilities provide

an opportunity for China and the

US to cooperate on the Middle East

affairs. On China-Saudi relations, there

is significant progress. Despite the fact

that diplomatic ties between the two

countries were established late, there

is no doubt that China places much

importance on them. This is reflected

in the fact that Saudi Arabia is the only

country enjoying strategic partnership

with China. Although oil is the driving

force defining the bilateral relations, it

seems that both governments are determined to develop the relations beyond oil. On China-Iran

relations, it is the international setting that pushes China and Iran to form a strong relationship

because the two countries do not complement each other. Despite the shared historical and

political affinities, China-Iran relationship is “shaped by suspicion towards the West and reinforced

by an experience of sanctions and a perception of US interference in their domestic politics.”On

China-Iraq relations, since 2003, China has been more active in Iraq. China’s policies on Iraq are

based on four conditions, namely, China has to adapt to the international situation defined by the

West, the changed US policy towards China after the September 11 attack, the pragmatic ideas

of Chinese leaders on international politics and foreign policy, and the post-war situation in Iraq.

On China-Qatar relations, it has been pushed by the top-level leadership of both sides. It is perhaps

the first paper revealing official document exchanges between the two countries on how the

bilateral relations were developed. What is particularly interesting is the role of Qatari officials in

petrochemical and energy industry and how the Qatari diplomats in China advance the bilateral

relationship. On China-UAE relations, the bilateral relationship goes beyond energy cooperation.

Dubai is a major center for Chinese products to be re-exported to the neighboring region. In

the future, increasing cooperation in energy sector would be a central element in China-UAE

relations with the fast improving cross-strait relations and the end of long-term contracts. The

research on China-Yemen relations offers an alternative perspective that goes beyond the official

narratives and conventional perceptions of China-Yemen/Gulf centered on energy, trade and arms

deals. The humanitarian aid, the basic infrastructure and other projects China provided during

the 1950s enabled China to “enjoy close relationship with Yemen, and it made it easier for China

to get access to the energy exploration…” Currently, Yemenis form the largest Arab community

in China. They are spread in education and trading sectors. The workshop also discusses the

implications of growing China-Gulf relations on India and Japan. On India, energy and security are

the two factors driving China and India to have a stronger relationship with the GCC. But, “the

GCC countries must evolve fresh dimensions to consolidate their positions in a fast-changing

world” because both China and India are intensifying steps in diversifying oil import resources.

Furthermore, the two countries will not sacrifice their strategic interests with Iran and Israel to

accommodate GCC reservations. In contrast to the view of China and India competing in the

Gulf, “there is also a possibility of India, Iran and China establishing a structural energy linkage

of a pan-Asian dimension.” Three implications of African experiences with China to GCC were

put forward. Firstly, the Gulf needs to recognize that China’s approach to resources is strategic

and balances its own interests accordingly. Secondly, the African resource economy has gained

through their diversification of foreign partners. Thirdly, understanding China’s domestic situation

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 101


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provides important insights into their approach to resource acquisition. The growing demand for

oil in China poses challenges to Japan. Unlike China, Japan’s policies towards the region are in line

with its main ally, the US. It has put Japan in a less advantageous position. Compared to China,

Japan entered the Saudi market early. In recent years, the Japanese engagement in the Gulf has

expanded. Recently, Japan assisted the Saudi government to facilitate the Saudization program by

providing training courses to the Saudis. In contrast, China’s investment in the country is relatively

small in terms of both volume and scope.

Workshop Director Profiles

Prof. Tim Niblock

Prof. Tim Niblock is Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University

of Exeter, and formerly worked as Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the

University of Durham. His main research interests cover a wide range of areas related to the

politics, economics and international relations of the Arab and Islamic worlds. He holds the Chair

in Arab Gulf Studies at the University of Exeter, UK. Much of his work focuses on the linkages

between political and economic developments, as in his work on the impact which UN economic

sanctions had on the three Arab states which were subject to them: Iraq, Libya and Sudan. The

latter work was published in a variety of different outlets, but most notably in his book, Pariah

States and Sanctions in the Middle East (Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 2000). Processes of economic and

political liberalisation have also been at the forefront of his attention, as can be seen in his edited

book, Economic and Political Liberalisation in the Middle East (British Academic Press, London, 1993).

With Professor Rodney Wilson he edited a 6-volume entitled, Political Economy of the Middle East

(Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2000). He has been working on the Arabian Peninsula since the early

1980s, starting with Social and Economic Development in the Arab Gulf, ed. (Croom Helm, London,

1980). His first work on Saudi Arabia was an edited work, State, Society and Economy in Saudi Arabia

(Croom Helm, London, 1981), which brought together political and economic perspectives on the

development of the Kingdom. His research is based on his knowledge of Arabic, and close links

with a variety of different Arab universities and institutions. He has been involved in consultancy

work and regularly visits the region for research purposes and for conferences.

Dr. Mei Zhang

Dr. Mei Zhang is currently part of the Shanghi Institute for International Studies and is focused

on the China-Gulf Relations. Dr. Zhang studied history, political economy and society of the

Gulf States, and has extensively done research on Dubai’s development and growth. Dr Zhang

completed her PhD research in 2008, from the University of Exeter.

Workshop 11 Papers

Yukiko Miyagi, Durham University

“The China Factor in Japan’s Gulf Policy”

Atul Aneja, The Hindu Newspaper

“Iran-China Relations: India as an Emerging Factor”

Li Weijian, Shanghai Institute for International Studies

“International System Transition and China’s Middle East Policy”

Behzad Shahandeh, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

“China–Iran Emerging Relations: A Marriage of Convenience”

Chen Mo, Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social


“China’s Policies and Measures to Secure the Supply of Oil: Energy”

Huang Minxing, Xi’an University

“An Analysis of Sino-Iraqi Relations after the Iraq War of 2003”

N. Janardhan, Political Analyst

“Chindia and the Gulf: cooperation, competition or confrontation?”

Noel Brehony, MENAS Associates Limited

“China and the Gulf: Cooperation in Petrochemicals”

Chris Alden, London School of Economics

“China’s Resource Strategy in Africa: Implications for the Gulf?”

Monica Malik, EFG-Hermes Bank

“The Impact of the Rise of China on Currency Reform in the GCC”

Gaffar Karar Ahmed, Shanghi International Studies University

“China-Qatar Relations- A New Diplomatic Relation in Shifting”

Ho Wai-Yip, City University of Hong Kong

“China-Yemen’s Translational Connections: From the Socialist Era to the Contemporary Period”

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 103


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Workshop 12: Islamic Politics in the Gulf

Dr. Stephane



Saud Al-Sarhan

University of Exeter

In the Arab Gulf States, where social and religious conservatism tends to be the norm, Islam is an

important political resource, claimed by regimes and opponents alike. The aim of this workshop

was to explore how this resource has been and is still used, reformulated and contested, with a

focus on the contemporary period - more specifically, the second half of the 20th century.

The papers included in the workshop dealt with different countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain

and Oman – and with the three main brands of Islam found in the region, i.e. Sunnism, Shiism

and Ibadism. Different themes were addressed. First, the relationship between Islam and the

state in the Gulf was debated, with a paper by Muhammad al-Atawneh on how Saudi Ulama have

accepted to become partners of the state while abandoning the political domain to the princes,

concentrating their efforts on society instead; and a paper by Khalid Al-Azri on how Ibadi Islam

has been used by the Omani state to construct an Omani identity – a dangerous move because

the same religious discourse has recently been appropriated by Islamist opponents of the state.

A couple of papers then looked more specifically at the Saudi state and explored the relationship

between its religious legitimacy narrative and jihadism: Robert Lacey showed, through an analysis

of fatwas issued by the kingdom’s official Ulama during the last 30 years, that the latter had

very early on denounced terrorism and suicide bombings. In contrast, Abdelasiem El-Difraoui

emphasized the difficulty for the Saudi state to discredit its jihadi opponents given the fact that

its own legitimacy narrative is based upon the same principles, those of jihad and martyrdom. Two

papers then debated the relationship between Islam and the economy. Annika Kropf explored

the differences in economic performances between Saudi Arabia and its GCC neighbors, and

concluded that the conservative Islamic culture found in the kingdom had been an impediment to

its economic growth. Finally, Kristin Diwan showed how, in the case of Kuwait, the state’s creation

of (or support for) Islamic charitable societies and investment institutions reinforced the power

of Islamist movements, by giving them new ground and resources.

Kristin Diwan’s paper provided a nice transition to the remaining presentations of the workshop,

all of which dealt with Islamist movements. Three papers were case studies: Jane Kinninmont

talked about Bahraini Shia Islamists and the debate between them over whether or not to

participate in a weak parliament; Carine Abou Lahoud described the competition between salafis

and Muslim Brothers over the control of Islamist activism in Kuwait; and Thomas Gugler looked

at two Indo-Pakistani Islamic movements, the Tabligh and the Jama’at al-Da‘wa, and analyzed

their marketing strategies in the Gulf, describing how they have striven to adapt to the region’s

cultural environment. The last three papers of the workshop dealt with some recent remarkable

evolutions among the region’s Islamist movements. Toby Matthiesen described the relationship

between Shia Islamists and Communists in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and analyzed how

they moved from competition to collaboration in the last few decades. Talal al-Rashud concluded

the discussion with his work on Hizb al-Umma, a new Kuwaiti Sunni political group which may

be described as post-Islamist. Finally, Stephen Monroe analyzed the parliamentary record of

Kuwaiti and Bahraini salafis, showing that there is no evident relationship between participating

in parliamentary life and subscribing to the core values of democracy – while Kuwaiti salafis have

through time become more outspoken democrats, this has not been the case for their Bahraini


Workshop Director Profiles

Dr. Stéphane Lacroix

Stéphane Lacroix is a postdoctoral fellow and a lecturer at Sciences Po in Paris, where he also

supervises the Kuwait Program of Gulf Studies. He has published articles on Saudi Arabia and

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The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Islamism in journals such as the Middle East Journal and the International Journal of Middle East

Studies. He is also a former consultant on Saudi Arabia for the International Crisis Group (ICG).

His forthcoming book Awakening Islam: A History of Islamism in Saudi Arabia, based on extensive

fieldwork in Saudi Arabia, was published by the Presses Universitaires de France in Autumn 2008,

with an English translation available in Spring 2010. Dr. Lacroix holds an M.A. in Middle East

Studies and Arabic Language from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations

in Paris, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Sciences Po.

Saud Al-Sarhan

Saud al-Sarahn is a Saudi-born writer, who has also studied extensively in Lebanon and the UK.

His chief research interests are Islamic Intellectual History, particularly Salafism and Hanbalism,

and the wider political themes of the Arabian Gulf, including the political history of Yemen. Saud

is currently completing his PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, and has

previously been awarded a Masters in International Business Law from the University of Central

Lancashire, and a Masters in Islamic Studies from the Higher Institute of Islamic Studies, Beirut,


Workshop 12 Papers

Muhammad Al Atawneh, Ben Gurion University

“Leave politics to politicians”

Annika Kropf, University of Vienna

“Islam and economic growth in the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)”

Kristin Diwan, American University

“Political Economies? Islamic Finance and Islamist politics in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait”

Khalid Al Azri, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

“State, Identity and Religion in Oman since 1970”

Stephen Monroe, Stanford University

“Salafis in parliament: A comparative analysis of Salafi parliamentary blocs and their democratic

attitudes in Bahrain and Kuwait”

Talal Al Rashoud, Georgetown University

“An Unlikely Reformer? Kuwait’s Salafi “Ummah Party”

Abdelasiem El Difraoui, Science Po, Paris

“The Saudi Tight-Rope Walk - Limitations and dangers of the Saudi Approach of countering Al

Qaida’s propaganda”

Toby Matthiesen, SOAS

“Political Opposition in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia: Leftists and Islamists between

Confrontation and Accommodation”

Carine Abou Lahoud, Sciences Po, Paris

“Kuwait: Salafism, Politics and Relations to Power”

Thomas Gugler, Zentrum Moderner Orient

“Marketing Muhammed and Madina in the Gulf: The “Islamic Project” of the reform movements

Tablighi Jama’at and Da’wat-el Islami”

Robert Lacy, Journalist

“The Saudi Ulema on Terrorism and Suicide Bombing, 1988- 2003”

Jane Kinninmont, The Economist Intelligence Unit

“Democracy or just Decoration? The debate among Bahrain’s Shia’ Islamists about participating

in Parliament”

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The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

The 2011 Gulf Research Meeting

The Gulf Research Center is pleased to announce the 2011 Gulf Research Meeting. The 2011

GRM will be held from 6-9 July at the University of Cambridge. Building on the success of the

2010 GRM, the 2nd annual Gulf Research Meeting aims to provide an academic environment to

foster Gulf studies and promote scholarly and academic exchange among scholars. The GRC,

in association with the GRCC (Gulf Research Centre Cambridge), hopes to expand the scope

of the meeting and offer deeper insight into the issues facing the GCC, thereby adding to the

scholarly research on the region.

• Our workshops include:

• Impact of Climate Change on Gulf Region

• The Transformation of Rentier States and the Provision of Public and Common


• Educational Reform, Public Policy, and the Students of the Gulf Region

• The Gulf and Latin America: Background and Perspectives

• WTO and Globalization: GCC impact

• Modernization and Socio- Economic Changes in the Arabic Gulf Cities

• India and the Gulf: What Next?

• Shaping the Gulf National Innovation Systems

• Healthcare Challenges in the Gulf region

• Potential and Limits of Civil Society In the Gulf Region

• Media in GCC

• GCC- Iran Relations

• Migration in the Gulf

• Human Resource Development in the Gulf

• The Role of Business Women in the Economies and Societies of the Arab Region

• The EU and GCC countries in the Southern Mediterranean

• Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Middle East

To learn more about this event and how to register, please visit our website:

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 111


The 2010 Gulf Research Meeting

Our Sponsors

The GRC would like to express their deep thanks and gratitude to all of our sponsors as without

their support and enthusiasm, the meeting would not have been possible.

The 2010 GRM was sponsored by the following:

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (the Arab Fund),

based in the State of Kuwait, is an Arab regional financial institution focused

on funding economic and social development by financing public and private

investment projects and providing grants and expertise. The Arab Fund’s

activities are characterized by a number of important aspects that make it a

model of cooperation and Arab economic integration, and a reflection of outstanding joint Arab

action. With all the Arab countries as its members and concentrating on economic and social

development affecting the same countries the Arab Fund carefully follows guidelines on neutrality

in pursuing its activities and organizes itself under substantive rules to ensure independence from

any political considerations when conducting in its operations.

KAB Holding

KAB Holding was established by Sheikh Khaled Ahmed Bagedo and

focuses on promoting the real estate business and building materials

manufacturing, mainly targeted at the Saudi Arabian and Middle Eastern

markets. Based in Jeddah KAB Holding is known for is ambition, enthusiasm

and devotion to community development, through large scale business.

Dallah Albaraka

Dallah Albaraka was founded in Riyadh by Shiekh Saleh Kamel in 1969

as a small proprietorship and has evolved over a period of 30 years

into a diversified international conglomerate, incorporating investments

in billions in over 40 countries worldwide. The group impacts on almost

every sector of economic life, including industry, trade, real estate,

tourism, health care, communication, media, production, technical maintenance and operation,

transport, banking and financial services and educational and training.

The Kuwait Program at Sciences Po

The Kuwait Program is a Gulf-focused research and teaching program based at

the Chaire Moyen-Orient Méditerranée at Sciences Po Paris, created in 2007

thanks to a generous grant from the Kuwait Foundation of the Advancement

of Sciences (KFAS).

KFAS and Sciences Po share an awareness of the common challenges facing

the Gulf region and Europe in fields such as security, sustainable development, geopolitics of

energy, economic diversification, the new role of the private sector, international migration, civil

society development, and the shift of public policies from domestic to global levels.

The two institutions have hence agreed to work together in creating a structure that provides new

approaches and fresh ideas in these fields to leaders, senior officials, academics and researchers.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 113


“Knowledge for All”

The Gulf Research Center (GRC) is an independent research institute located in Dubai, United

Arab Emirates (UAE). The GRC was founded in July 2000 by Mr. Abdulaziz Sager, a Saudi businessman,

who realized that in a world of rapid political, social and economic change, it is important to

pursue politically neutral and academically sound research about the Gulf Cooperation Council

(GCC) countries and disseminate the knowledge obtained as widely as possible. The GRC seeks

to provide a better understanding of the challenges and prospects of the GCC countries.

GRC was established to achieve the following main objectives:

• Conducting objective and scholarly research bearing on political, economic, social and security

issues, as they relate to the GCC states in particular and the Gulf region in general.

• Promoting communication and cooperation among GCC citizens, along with propagating

information about the GCC states and the Gulf region through a series of conferences and

workshops the GRC holds and hosts.

• Publishing and disseminating relevant and useful information and data on the GCC states within

and outside the region.

• Interacting with and answering the needs and requirements of individuals and/or corporate

organizations, including GCC nationals and expatriates living in the GCC countries, university

students, academics, the press community, businessmen, and decision-makers.

Gulf Research Meeting – July 2010 115

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