Alliances and Regionalism in the Middle East After Arab Uprisings: An Assessment of the Durability and Fragility of the Gulf Cooperation Council

Part of the Contemporary Gulf Studies book series (CGS)


Regionalism, alliance building, and inter-state cooperation have occupied a certain place in the discussions of international relations (IR). This chapter focuses on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as one of most longstanding sub-regional cooperation example in the Middle East within the theoretical approaches offered by IR. To capture a more complete picture, this chapter adopts a ‘flexible and inclusive’ (ibid.) (Fawcett 2016) theoretical framework, which recognizes the importance of both material and ideational factors and includes a variety of approaches of structural realism and constructivism in forming regional alliances in the Middle East in general and in the Gulf region (the Gulf region refers to the six Arab countries forming the GCC: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman) in particular. Further, this chapter aims at contributing to the literature on regionalism in the Middle East by focusing on how material and ideational factors at domestic, regional and international levels affect the durability and fragility of regional alliances. Based on qualitative secondary data analysis and semi-structured interviews, the study examines historical experiences of the Arab Gulf states regarding GCC formation. Also, the regional and domestic developments in GCC since Arab Spring, which significantly altered the balance of power and the nature of alliances, are analyzed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Area StudiesMiddle East Technical University (METU)AnkaraTurkey

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