Baker Institute paper Reasons for Arab Gulf states uneven integration into world

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareDavid [email protected] [email protected] Institute paper: Reasons for Arab Gulf states’ uneven integration into world economy are multifacetedHOUSTON – (May 13, 2015) – The reasons behind the Arab Gulf states’ uneven record of integration into the global economy are multifaceted and largely driven by oil exports, according to a new paper from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Credit: University“The Political Economy of Arab Gulf States,” authored by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, documents how the ties binding the Gulf states to the global economy are deep-rooted and long predate the discovery and extraction of oil in the 20th century. The paper also examines the entrenched dynamics that served to limit the Gulf states’ relationship with the international system prior to the 20th century, both politically and economically. Finally, the paper shows the linkages between the Gulf states and the global economy as they evolved during the 20th century.“Between the 1930s and the 1950s, the extraction and export of oil transformed the political economy of the Gulf’s small coastal sheikhdoms and of Saudi Arabia and dramatically reconfigured state-society relations within the newly independent countries,” said Ulrichsen, who is the fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute. He specializes in the political, economic and security trends of the Middle East and the changing position of Persian Gulf states in the global order.Ulrichsen said that prior to the 1930s, the Gulf states’ enmeshment in Western political and military spheres of influence during the period of prolonged British protection and following the passage to independence limited these states’ integration into the world economy. So did the conservative leanings of many of the “post-traditional” governing systems in the Arabian Gulf.Beginning in the 1940s, though, energy framed the function of the Gulf in global economic structures and international trade and investment flows, Ulrichsen said. “Oil exports integrated the Gulf states firmly into the international economic system as Gulf oil became a motor of Western economic growth in the post-World War II era,” he said. “Securing stable access to regional supplies and the Western guarantees of protection that underpinned this flow of oil to global markets became the pillars that structured the international relations of the Gulf after 1945. Oil from the Gulf, particularly Kuwait, supplied 51 percent of British requirements in 1971, while Saudi Arabia and the United States enjoyed a similarly symbiotic relationship.”Subsequently, the network of political and security ties with the West distinguished the Gulf states from other postcolonial settings and largely shielded them from revolutionary upheaval, Ulrichsen said.Relations reached a watershed moment in 1990-91 with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait Aug. 2, 1990, and the subsequent liberation of Kuwait in early 1991 by an internationally led coalition assembled by President George H.W. Bush and his secretary of state, James A. Baker III. “This occurred in a moment of profound change in the international system and coincided with the end of the Cold War and the acceleration of global political and economic change,” Ulrichsen said.“Over the two decades that followed, the links with the international system would broaden and deepen as the Gulf states became more active participants in the global economy in ways that moved decisively beyond the hydrocarbons sector,” he said.-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Ulrichsen, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Paper:” alt=”last_img” /> read more