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Title: Foreign policy making in the small Gulf states : state formation processes, ideas and identities in Kuwait and Bahrain
Author: Alsayed, Wafa
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 3814
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation seeks to answer the question of why the relatively similar Arab states of Kuwait and Bahrain adopted differing foreign policies in the early years of their independence in the 1960s and 1970s. While Kuwait adopted an actively pan-Arab, progressive and anticolonial foreign policy, Bahrain shied away from strong Arabist positions and Third World politics and instead enthusiastically engaged with Western powers. Through a theoretical approach combining historical sociology and constructivism, this dissertation seeks to go beyond the dominant realist framework to examine the role of internal historical dynamics in influencing foreign policy. It argues that the difference in these states' foreign policy behaviour resulted from their respective processes of state formation, which led to the emergence of divergent identities that informed their foreign policy positions. In each case, the dynamics of state-society relations, British and Arab influences and state institutional development led to the emergence of distinct ideational discourses that ultimately shaped these states' respective foreign policies. This study is comprised of three steps. First, it investigates the histories of state formation in the two Gulf states, demonstrating how they have pursued distinct paths in consolidating authority and governing society. Second, it explains how the unique circumstances behind their establishment and subsequent processes of state building led to the formation of distinct sets of identities on the levels of both state and society. Third, it traces the relationship between these histories and identities and the positions adopted by Kuwaiti and Bahraini decision-makers in the 1960s and 1970s.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General) ; JF Political institutions (General) ; JZ International relations