Relations between Britain and Kuwait, 1957-1963
This thesis examines Anglo-Kuwaiti patron-client relations between 1957-1963 using substantial archival material from Britain and the United States. The thesis has contributed to the literature of Anglo-Kuwaiti relations and to the theory of international clientelism. The theoretical model was applied to both primary and secondary source material linked to Anglo-Kuwaiti relations. This combined with a traditional diplomatic historical approach to the thesis, produced a number of conclusions and highlighted a number of themes that dominated Anglo-Kuwaiti relations. The themes that dominated the actors in this period included the increased internationalisation of the Gulf, the importance of Kuwaiti oil and sterling deposits to Britain, Arab nationalism and the influence of Nasser, the problem of over-flying rights, strategic concerns, Cold War tensions, the decline in British power and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Another important theme explored throughout the thesis is Kuwait's emerging statehood, implemented by the al-Sabah by the joining of Kuwait to various international organisations. Insecurity often evoked foreseeable policy responses from the client, and many actions of other states produced likely, if not always predictable, reactions of both patron and client. The model of clientelism gave substance to these decisions. In the case of the client, Kuwait, goals of internal autonomy with external security were both expected and observed. The c1ientelist model depicted clearly Anglo-Kuwaiti relations. The principle argument of the thesis developed from the contention that patrons facing a decline in power in the international system use clientelism to bolster their economic position. But a reduction in asymmetry of power with the client ensures that the relationship declines. In the case of Britain and Kuwait, as British power declined, its interests in Kuwait became more economic and financial than political and strategic. In a broader context a transformation of this s011 is generally to be looked for as a great power declines.