The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia

From Indifference to Interdependence

Part of the Power and Politics in the Gulf series
November 2010 9781849040990 208pp


A plethora of economic, diplomatic, cultural, and other highly pragmatic linkages are making the ‘Asianisation’ of Asia a reality. Davidson, demonstrates in this book how the powerful connections that are being forged by the very eastern and western extremities of the continent are poised to become a central pillar of this process. Most notably, an important new relationship is developing between the six monarchies of the Persian Gulf and the three most industrialised Asian economies. What began as a simple, twentieth century marriage of convenience based on hydrocarbon imports and exports has now evolved into a comprehensive, long-term mutual commitment that will not only continue to capitalise on the Persian Gulf’s rich energy resources and Pacific Asia’s massive energy needs, but will also seek to develop strong non-hydrocarbon bilateral trade, will facilitate sovereign wealth investments in both directions, and will provide lucrative opportunities for experienced Pacific Asian construction companies, and – in China’s case – its vast labour force.


‘The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia is essential reading for academics and policy-makers seeking a better understanding of this rapidly evolving relationship, and of the foreign policies of the states in consideration. It also advances important questions regarding the effect of these dynamics on the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East, external actors and the existing liberal international order.’ — International Affairs

‘This book provides a timely overview of the multifaceted dimensions of the rapidly-developing inter-relationships between the GCC states and South Korea, China and Japan.’ — Kristian Ulrichsen, LSE, author of Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-oil Era

The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia has come at just the right time, and is doubtless to be a significant milestone in this new subfield. … Davidson’s work brings in fresh insights, overcoming the shortcomings of previous works, which he aptly identifies as “narrow bilateral studies”. … Although the book is short and concise, it is extremely rich in data, as a result of the author’s intensive field research in multiple cities in East Asia. … The achievement of this book is unrivalled, and it sets a very high standard in the study of Gulf-Asia relations.’ — Journal of Arabian Studies


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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