July 27, 2020
In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, launching an economic blockade by land, air and sea. The self-proclaimed ‘Anti-Terror Quartet’ offered maximalist demands: thirteen ‘conditions’ recalling Austria-Hungary’s 1914 ultimatum to Serbia. They may even have intended military action. Well into its second year, the standoff in the Gulf has no realistic end in sight. With the Bahraini and Emirati criminalisation of expressing support for Qatar, and the Saudi labelling of detainees as ‘traitors’ for their alleged Qatari links, bitterness has been stoked between deeply interconnected peoples. The adviser to the Saudi crown prince advocating a moat to physically separate Qatar from the Arabian Peninsula illustrates the ongoing intensity―and irrationality―of the crisis. Most reporting and analysis of these developments has focused on questions of regional geopolitics, and framed the standoff in terms of its impact on (largely) Western interests. Lost in this thicket of commentary is consideration of how the Qatari leadership and population have responded to the blockade. As the 2022 FIFA World Cup draws closer, the ongoing Qatar crisis becomes increasingly important to understand. Ulrichsen offers an authoritative study of this international standoff, from both sides.
Join the SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. to discuss Qatar and the Gulf Crisis with the author of this new book.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, PhD Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston as well as an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London
Kadir Ustun, Executive Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington DC
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, is a Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston as well as an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London. His research examines the political economy and international relations of the Gulf States and their changing positions within regional and international politics. Coates Ulrichsen is the author of six books, including four on the Gulf, the two most recent being The United Arab Emirates: Power, Politics, and Policymaking (Routledge, 2016) and Qatar and the Gulf Crisis (Hurst & Co, 2020). Prior to joining the Baker Institute in 2013, Coates Ulrichsen was the Kuwait Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2008-13) and Senior Analyst at the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies (2006-8). Coates Ulrichsen holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge.
Kadir Ustun is the Executive Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington, D.C. Previously, Dr. Ustun was the Research Director at SETA DC and Assistant Editor of Insight Turkey. Dr. Ustun holds a PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in History from Bilkent University. He has contributed to various SETA reports and his writings have appeared in various publications such as Insight Turkey, Al Jazeera English, Hurriyet Daily News, Daily Sabah, Mediterranean Quarterly, and Cairo Review of Global Affairs among others. He is also co-editor of edited volumes History, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey, Change and Adaptation in Turkish Foreign Policy, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, and Trump’s Jerusalem Move: Making Sense of U.S. Policy on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.