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Title: The Gulf Cooperation Council monarchies after 2011 : redefining security perceptions and rethinking threat analysis
Author: Bianco, C.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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Since 2011, a series of events – including popular upheavals, civil wars, the empowerment of non-state actors, economic volatility and increased geopolitical confrontation between states – hinted at the beginning of a transformative period for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Notwithstanding the region’s modern history has provided several instances of treacherous conjunctures, seldom like in the aftermath of 2011 so many different challenges of different types have risen simultaneously on a regional and domestic scale. As this transformative wave spread towards the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), challenging the existing balance of power, the local regimes’ security perceptions were profoundly impacted. Arguably, these became so substantially divergent at the level of each state that, in the span of only six years, the GCC was hit by two of the gravest internal political crises in its history. Hence, new questions emerged regarding the existence of a shared prioritization of threats and the interaction of endogenous and exogenous dangers when they materialize simultaneously, that don’t seem to find answers in the existing body of scholarship yet. Focusing on the post-2011 environment and the issues emerged as crucial amid the 2014 and 2017 intra-GCC crises, this thesis aims to provide new analytical tools for addressing such questions and enhancing the understanding of evolving security perceptions. In order to do so, drawing from the literatures of security studies and area studies, an original theoretical framework is elaborated, which introduces a distinction between threats and risks and a categorization system addressing the emergence of multidimensional, ‘intermestic’ threats. The framework is subsequently applied to perform an analysis of threat perceptions in each of the six GCC states. Finally, the author will attempt to draw conclusions on threat prioritization in the region and the status of the much-debated notion of ‘Gulf security’.
Supervisor: Stansfield, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gulf Cooperation Council ; security studies ; Qatar crisis ; intra-GCC crisis ; threat perceptions ; security perceptions ; Iran ; Muslim Brotherhood ; jihadism