The GCC, made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, is one of the most resilient sub-regional organizations in the world, and the most successful one in the Arab world. It has been the forum through which much internal security co-operation in this volatile sub-region has taken place, as well as the main representative for the UAE’s territorial dispute with Iran over the Aub Musa and Tunbs Islands. It also has significant potential to present an alternative form of leverage over the international oil markets. Very little is known, however, about how the organization really works: how decisions are actually taken, as opposed to how this process is formally constituted in its charters, and what the GCC’s real impact on member states, the Gulf, and international relations is. Drawing on cutting-edge IR theoretical perspectives as well as unique first-hand access to GCC decision-makers, Matteo Legrenzi explains the mechanisms of Gulf cooperation -- and its limitations -- in the context of economic globalization, diplomatic regionalization, and the rise of Iran. Combining historical context, primary source investigations and theoretical analysis, it is the first comprehensive guide to the GCC and an indispensable resource for anyone concerned with the Gulf and the Middle East.
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Matteo Legrenzi is Assistant Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.Review:
'Matteo Legrenzi has written the essential guide to the history and politics of the gulf Cooperation Council. as the centre of political and economic gravity in the Arab world shifts decisively towards the gulf, professionals and analysts will find in Legrenzi's brilliantly concise book a reliable guide to this complex and misunderstood corner of the globe. His many years of personal experience in the gulf, and the deep connections he has established with policymakers in the region, make Legrenzi one of the most authoritative Western authors on the Arab states of the gulf at work today.' - Eugene Rogan, the Middle East Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford University; 'There are few serious books on the gulf Cooperation Council, and even fewer that take a critical look at what the organization has and has not accomplished. Matteo Legrenzi has written a balanced, well-researched and comprehensive overview of this little-understood and frequently over-hyped regional international organization. It is the best book on the topic.' - F. Gregory Gause, III, Professor of Political Science, University of Vermont; 'This book could not be more timely. the gulf Cooperation Council, which many have seen as a mere "shaikhly" club, is exercising real muscle as never before. The GCC is playing a direct role not only in the politics and economics of Gulf affairs, but also in security developments. Matteo Legrenzi provides the essential context to understand these transformations in this smoothly written and meticulously researched account. For anyone interested in the evolution of the Gulf since the British withdrawal, this book is an indispensable resource.' - Gary Sick, Senior Research Scholar and Director of the Gulf/2000 Project, Columbia University
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