Insecure Gulf examines how the concept of Arabian/Persian Gulf 'security' is evolving in response to new challenges that are increasingly non-military and longer-term. Food, water and energy security, managing and mitigating the impact of environmental degradation and climate change, addressing demographic pressures and the youth bulge and reformulating structural economic deficiencies, in addition to dealing with the fallout from progressive state failure in Yemen, require a broad, global and multi-dimensional approach to Gulf security. While 'traditional' threats from Iraq, Iran, nuclear proliferation and trans-national terrorism remain robust, these new challenges to Gulf security have the potential to strike at the heart of the social contract and redistributive mechanisms that bind state and society in the Arab oil monarchies. Consequently, Insecure Gulf explores the relationship between 'traditional' and 'new' security challenges and situates it within the changing political economy of the GCC states as they move at varying speeds toward post-oil structures of governance. It describes how regimes are anticipating and reacting to the shifting security paradigm, and contextualises these changes within the broader political, economic, social and demographic framework. It also argues that a holistic approach to security is necessary for regimes to renew their sources of legitimacy in a globalising world.
Kristian Ulrichsen is Deputy Director of the Kuwait Research Programme on Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf States, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on political and security trends in the Arabian Peninsula and the geopolitics of regional insecurity in the Horn of Africa.