The Gulf Research Center is currently accepting abstract applications for this year’s Gulf Research Meeting, which will take place July 21-23, 2020 at the University of Cambridge in the UK. One of the workshops this year, entitled “The Gulf, Russia and the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)” is especially relevant.
The objective of this workshop is to explore these issues in light of Russia’s growing role and power projection in the region. Since Russia needs to tread more carefully in the Gulf due to its relationship with its ally Iran, there might be stricter limitations to Russia’s ability to engage in the region. We would hope to analyze Russian intentions and limitations in the Gulf. On the other hand, we would hope to consider GCC countries’ reaction to Russian overtures. To date, Russia’s support for President Assad in Syria and its enabling of Iranian expansion have not disrupted its relations with the GCC countries. The tension inherent in the relationship should be explored. Finally, we hope to look more deeply at GCC-Central Asian and Azerbaijani relations, and whether
economic and energy cooperation is feasible. There is great potential for cooperation but several factors are holding the back any fruitful collaboration.
The papers we would want to attract for this workshop would center around the following questions:
What are the consequences of American disengagement from the Gulf? How will Russia attempt to benefit? Are Russian objectives antithetical to regional stability in the Gulf? Is Russia intent on retaining the status quo in the region or upending it? Will Gulf energy resources be less secure under a Russian-dominated system? Will Russia’s allies, Iran and Turkey, feel less constrained and more aggressive in the Gulf? What are GCC countries doing to compensate for this turn of events, i.e., establishing new relationships with one another, building their own capabilities, expanding their ties with Russia and China?
The deadline to apply is February 15, 2020.