To cite this publication: Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, “The GCC States and the Shifting Balance of Global Power,” CIRS Occasional Paper no. 6 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2010).
This paper maps the changing engagement strategies of the six member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the global order. It examines how and why the Gulf states have emerged as visible and powerful global actors in recent years and contextualizes these strategies within the shifting balance of global power. This approach ascribes agency to policymakers in the Gulf states, and shifts the focus of scholarly attention toward the motivations and objectives that guide their engagement and interaction with the international system. The paper also considers the broader implications for the future of global and regional politics in light of the emergence of new international linkages and blocs, and the reformulation of frameworks of global governance in both its normative and structural dimensions.