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date: 20 April 2024

p. 26612. The International Politics of the Gulflocked

p. 26612. The International Politics of the Gulflocked

  • Matteo Legrenzi


This chapter explores the shifting security dynamics in the Gulf, focusing on the policies of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, as well as the shifting patterns of US involvement. It argues that the classical realist tool, the balance of power, only partly explains the positioning of states. It also points out the importance of the domestic framework and its interactions with transnational influences and external actors to understanding the environment within which local states operate. The chapter explores the need to manage both internal and external threats as regime security drives states in their foreign policies. It talks about the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and the relative immunity of the Gulf monarchies from the effects of the Arab Spring, which have afforded greater regional influence and autonomy for the states.

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