This article explains how women in the Gulf states have harnessed political and socioeconomic changes over the last decade to alter their standing at home and abroad. It argues that Gulf women have benefited from investments made by Gulf governments in higher education since the 1970s, the war on terrorism, the ever higher costs of employing expatriate workers, and the inability of their male colleagues to fill either skilled or unskilled positions. It also argues that the position of women today is consistent with their position historically in Gulf society, and that questions of gender are not limited to women.
This article considers prospects for developing relations between Israel and the Persian Gulf monarchies: Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. A central feature of U.S. Middle East policy–and one doomed to fail–is an effort to urge Gulf countries to take steps toward peace or confidence-building measures with Israel. Israel has a strong interest to seek normal relations with these countries, as each state moving toward peace further tips the regional balance, making it harder for other countries and movements to attack Israel, obtain funds for arms and terrorism, or subvert the peace process. Israel can also make important (though more modest than many expect) commercial gains by trade with these wealthy countries, while there are certain products they could obtain that would benefit their economies. Yet all of these Gulf countries have very strong reasons that make them unlikely to move toward peace, normalization of relations, or confidence-building measures.
Formally speaking, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a coherent alliance; but is it in fact so? The six GCC states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman) have much in common: socioeconomic and political structures, political culture, and obsessions of security and threats. Although they differ in their perceptions of […]