For Gulf States, Forging National Identity Trumps Regional Integration

For Gulf States, Forging National Identity Trumps Regional Integration
View of Dubai, UAE, April 19, 2014 (photo by Flickr user paolomargari licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license).

Since launching the Gulf Cooperation Council in 1981, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman have pursued dual and sometimes dueling objectives. Collectively the six countries profess to share the strategic goal of integrating their economic, security and even political policies. But individually, each of these relatively young states continues to place a high priority on forging and shoring up a national identity. During my recent visit to the UAE for the second annual Emirates Policy Center Strategic Forum, the subtle tension between these regional and national goals was on display. While the forum was a […]

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