Power and Politics in the Persian Gulf Monarchies

Edited by Part of the Power and Politics in the Gulf series
January 2012 9781849041225 256pp
Temporarily out of stock
January 2012 9781849041218 256pp


Christopher Davidson, an acclaimed expert on the fast moving politics and economics of the Gulf, together with five other leading authorities on the region, has brought together a unique collection of comprehensive yet highly accessible analyses of these six states.

Following a succinct theoretical overview of the various achievements, opportunities, and collective challenges faced by the monarchies, each chapter discusses their individual historical backgrounds, political structures, economic diversification efforts, and future prospects.  Drawing on the latest research in the field, the most up-to-date statistics, and written in a frank and critical manner, this textbook is a valuable addition to university reading lists on Middle Eastern studies or political science, while also appealing to the general interest reader.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
Christopher M. Davidson

2. The United Arab Emirates
Christoper M. Davidson

3. Bahrain
Jane Kinninmont

4. Saudi Arabia
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

5. Kuwait
David Roberts

6. Qatar
Steven Wright

7. Oman
Marc Valeri



Power and Politics in the Persian Gulf Monarchies is a superb addition to the existing literature on an area long neglected by scholars of the Middle East. By providing comprehensive, in-depth analyses of the domestic politics of the GCC states, the volume highlights the travails and complexities of their political development and the inevitability of the political changes to come. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the serious study of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.’ — Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University-Qatar

‘The perfect briefing on the history, political dynamics and personalities, foreign policy, and economy of the Arab Gulf states: a lucid summing up of themes and trends in these four areas; country chapters pursuing them systematically and accessibly; a wealth of hard-to-come-by information; and incisive analysis representing the most recent research. Just as useful to novices as to the initiated.’ — Gerd Nonneman, Dean, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and Visiting Professor of Gulf Studies, University of Exeter

‘This unique, timely volume represents the single best overview of the modern histories and contemporary challenges facing the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The authors provide nuanced accounts of post-oil economy diversification, shared security concerns, and religious tensions facing the Gulf, and how the “Arab spring” may eventually lead to political reform.’  — Marcia C. Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, Yale University

‘Lay aside any reservations about edited works. Power and Politics in the Persian Gulf Monarchies provides a coherent, concise and remarkably up to date account of how the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council got to where they are now and of the challenges facing them.’ — Sir Harold Walker, former Ambassador to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq

‘This is the best book available on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Concise, well written, yet rich in detail and informed by relevant theorising, it covers the history, politics, personalities, and economies of these monarchies now challenged by the Arab Spring. Their futures, according to these authors, are unlikely to be as rosy as their pasts.’ — Robert Springborg, Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School

‘Anyone wishing to transcend headlines, with their sensationalistic coverage of the ebbs and flows of the oil market and the menacing nature of the Iranian threat, would be wise to read this thoughtful and informative book. All told, it represents an important contribution to the ongoing discussion on the politics of the Persian Gulf.’ — Survival

‘This will no doubt make a very good and useful textbook for undergraduate students as it is highly informative on both past and current issues. The chapters follow a similar framework, which makes the whole book particularly coherent and helps the reader to compare the six Gulf monarchies.’ — Laurence Louer, author Transnational Shia Politics

‘A concise and informative volume about the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).’ — Richard Phelps, Middle East Quarterly


Christopher M. Davidson has long-standing research interests in the comparative politics of the Gulf states, and was previously a reader at Durham University and an assistant professor at Zayed University, UAE. His publications include Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success; Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond; After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies; and Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East.

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