In the book “The GCC and the International Relations of the Gulf: Diplomacy, Security and Economic Coordination in a Changing Middle East” Matteo Legranzi provides detailed description of how mechanisms of Gulf cooperation work. Special attention is paid to limitations of gulf cooperation, the rise of Iran’s economic and political influence, economic globalization and diplomatic regionalization. Legranzi argues that little is known and highlighted about Gulf’s international cooperation and, therefore, modern researches should concentrate more on explorations gulf member states and their impact on the whole world. Little evidence is provided about the work of decision-makers in GCC, how decisions are formulated and what key political and economical factors are considered during this process. (Legranzi 2011)
The GCC is claimed to be one of the most flexible world’s organizations consisting of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. These countries are rich in ...view middle of the document...
The similar procedure was implemented. He outlines that creation of the GCC was a result of only negotiation between its members without considering formal and external forces. The role of Iraq was the only obstacle postponing the creation of the GCC. Some gulf members were very anxious about the dominance of Iraq, its political and military influence. Negotiations with Iraq remained a key challenge. Iraq was invited into the GCC after the beginning of Iran-Iraq war. The GCC saw Iran as a threat and initiation of the Islamic Revolution that was not welcomed by the GCC’s members. Legranzi provides a number of interesting facts about security and defense measures of the GCC against Iran stressing that the GCC has no institutional and organizational structure and, thus, its success was under threat. The GCC focuses mostly on cultural and economic cooperation paying less attention to military sphere.
Further chapters of the book are devoted to diplomacy, defense, economy and military problems, whereas the key problem is nuclear program of Iran. Relations with NATO are covered as well. The GCC is viewed as security complex in the Persian Gulf. However, the theoretical base is rather weak today to discuss peculiarities of regional security. Nuclear power of Iran creates big challenge to the Middle East. Legranzi concludes that the GCC doesn’t seem to be a strong regional security complex because it hasn’t developed still an institutional framework. The GCC has little policies in defense matters. If the GCC tends to become strong defense union, it has to develop institutional framework. Legranzi doesn’t understand why this moment remains neglected. One explanation is that in case the GCC forms its army and weapon, a stronger army may pose a military threat to regime. The GCC’s decision-making process is limited to one ruler being not effective. The book is very informative and interesting and, thus, can be recommended for those who are interested in the Middle East studies. Legranzi provides analysis of not only economic and political influence of the GCC, but covers also perspectives of its further development stressing that the GCC encourages mainly cultural and economic issues with less attention to defense and military strategies. (Legranzi 2011)