The US-led war against Iraq in 2003 represented the most dramatic shake-up of regional politics in the Gulf for more than a decade. This book contains an up-to-date analysis of central questions affecting the construction of a post-Ba'th regime in Iraq, and charts possible ways forward in other key states of the region such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. At the heart of the analysis lies the tension between the US-sponsored vision of a democratic, free market Gulf region and local resistance to this model. This resistance, appearing in the shape of alternative visions of democracy and the state, could potentially present a challenge to US policy through the spread of repressive policies or terrorism, especially if Washington chooses to sideline the social forces behind it. Conversely, if this resistance were taken seriously by the US, it could form a point of departure for more fruitful interaction between traditions of government from the West and local politics. Future developments on this important issue will be of immense significance for the management of some of the world's largest oil and gas reserves, with immediate implications for both regional political stability as well as for the world economy.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction, Daniel Heradstveit and Helge Hveem; The predicament of the Gulf Rentier state, Ã˜ystein Noreng; The future of the Saudi Arabian economy: possible effects on the world oil market, Ã…dne Cappelen and Robin Choudhury; The reformist movement in Iran, Mehrzad Boroujerdi; The psychology of corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran, Daniel Heradstveit and G. Matthew Bonham; Energy supply as terrorist targets? Patterns of 'Petroleum Terrorism' 1968-99, Brynjar Lia and Ã…shild KjÃ¸k; Shi'i perspectives on a federal Iraq: territory, community and ideology in conceptions of a new polity, Reidar Visser; Understanding the complexities of the Gulf: concluding remarks, Helge Hveem; Index.
'This impressive collection of articles should be required reading for all those interested in the mechanics of political and economic development in the Persian Gulf. Reflecting extensive new research, Heradstveit and Hveem have succeeded in bringing together a broad range of complementary topics which provide the reader with a comprehensive and insightful understanding of the factors determining political change in a strategic region which is proving increasingly volatile. This timely volume should be essential reading for scholars and policy makers alike.' Dr A.M. Ansari, University of Durham, UK 'Reflecting extensive new research, Heradstveit and Hveem have brought together a broad range of topics which provide the reader with a comprehensive and insightful understanding of the factors determining political change in a strategic region which is proving increasingly volatile.' The Middle East 'This is a very timely collection of papers...It provides solid and accessible academic research to offset superficial or alarmist treatment in the media. It tells a sombre story, though not without signs of hope.' The Round Table 'This impressive collection analyzes major questions affecting the construction of a post-Baath regime in Iraq and focuses on the tension between the US-sponsored vision of a democratic, free-market Gulf region and local resistance to this model...Highly recommended.' ChoiceReviews.online