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18 Pages

Introduction

Localizing the transnational and transnationalizing the local
ByMadawi Al-Rasheed

The oil boom of the 1970s was followed by an increase in academic interest in the Arab Gulf. The dependence of Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, the USA on the oil resources of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman (known as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states) stimulated interest in these previously little-known countries. In the literature on the Gulf, questions relating to traditional political structures, internal stability, energy resources, processes of state formation and labour migration have dominated research agendas, ignoring a whole range of other topics. The inaccessibility of the Gulf, manifested in restrictions on field research, meant that most of the early literature was based on statistical analysis conducted outside the region and short fieldwork trips, under the sponsorship of local state-controlled research centres or the patronage of policy organizations based abroad.1