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POLI 341 (39)

state - centric balance of threat theory : scott cooper

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 341
Imad Mansour

StateCentric BalanceofThreat Theory Explaining the Misunderstood Gulf Cooperation Council Scott CooperGCC Gulf Cooperation Councilfounded in 1981Saudi Arabia SA Kuwait Bahrain Qatar the United Arab Emirates and OmanUnusual hybrid of economic and security institutionsCooperation in external and internal security foreign policy and financePredominant security studies interpretation of the GCC is Stephen Walts balanceofthreat theory of alliance formation describes the GCC as a balancing alignment intended to limit potential pressure from both Iran and Afghanistan David Priess argues that GCC was formed to counter domestic dissent within the six in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution labels the GCC as an alliance but with a small military institution has maintained small multilateral force Variety of economic projects especially in removing intraregional trade barriers and promoting developmentrare in the Third World dozens of agreements has been made but have never been implementedIPE approach would suggest economic interest groups pressing government for regional integrationNot in the case of the GCC since the main political demands on Gulf regimes were driven by religious affiliation not economic interestsArguments of the authorMiddleground explanation for the hybrid of GCC one that integrates security fears and real economic cooperation He starts by focusing on the role of the state in each country as the intermediary between domestic society and international systemEspecially in the Third World domestic threat to the state are as serious as external threats and may be in some cases more seriousshould pay more attention to the interests of the leaders of the stateFocusing on the state we should expect alliance behaviour to reflect both external and internal threatsThe author call this modification of Walts argument state centricbalanceofthreat theory That approach focus on nation states as unitary actors and examine statesociety relations in addition to interstate relations Third world states face severe constraints both internally and externally may have outcomes such as alliances and internal mobilization Iranian revolution mobilized Shia minorities to the GCC ruling Sunni monarchiesBy looking at the threats to the Gulf states we can explain both the timing and the nature of the GCC
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