Incisive, fascinating and absorbing, Ulrichsen’s overview of the security environment in which the oil-rich Gulf States must henceforth conduct their state affairs, is an eye-opener. It provides a detailed analysis of the developments in the Perso/Arab Gulf region and highlights the uncertainties of a future from which oil income may not provide sufficient protection. It surveys the major threats that loom large and threaten the region at present and in the near future.
Food, water and energy security, managing and mitigating the impact of environmental degradation, addressing the youth bulge and reformulating structural economic deficiencies, such as the case of Yemen, all require a multi-dimensional approach. Ulrichsen mentions challenges from trans-national terrorism, nuclear proliferation and religious threats that challenge the security of the Gulf States.
Insecure Gulf explores the relationship between the ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ security challenges and situates them within the changing economies of the GCC, as they move towards post-oil structures of governance. It also argues that a holistic approach is necessary for regimes to renew their sources of legitimacy in a globalising world. He stresses that apathy on the part of the rulers could shake their very foundations.
About the author
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is deputy director of the Kuwait Research Programme on the Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf States, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
His book, Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era, is published by C. Hurst & Co. Ltd., 41 Great Russel Street, London DC1B 3PL.