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Research Proposal
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The Role of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Mediation and Diplomatic Interventions (Research Proposal Sample)


To know more about mediation within the GCC countries and how it stands in the international arena.
Moderating influence of individual GCC leaders (to attain a clear structure maybe two or three countries within the GCC should be focused on).
How GCC countries emerged as proactive mediators in recent years.
Countries' foreign policy making use of niche diplomacy (via mediation).
Image change of GCC countries through mediation

(This proposal form should total no more than 1000 words, not including bibliographical information included in suggested literature.)
Dissertation aim: To investigate the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in mediation and diplomatic interventions since its formation in 1981 to modern times. To evaluate the role the member countries of the GCC have in reaching settlements both within and outside of the Arabian Gulf.
The dissertation will focus on the mediation roles of the GCC as opposed to other functions attributable to the organization.
-To account for the prevailing political, religious, and economic circumstances that necessitated the creation of the GCC.
- To evaluate the role and successes, or failures, of the GCC in promoting peace and stability within the Arabian Gulf through the provision of diplomatic dispute resolution mechanisms and mediation.
- To establish the roles played by member states within GCC in dispute resolution and mediation.
Analysis: “what were the motivations and objectives behind the creation of the GCC?”, “what was the role of the member states in terms of mediation?” and “how has this role changed to accommodate modern times?”
Make the point:
- Who are the GCC? – A regional intergovernmental political and economic organization whose six member states are monarchies from the Arab countries of the Arabian Gulf. These are: Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- Role of the GCC – intergovernmental cooperation and settlements via mediation. It was intended to increase economic, political and religious cooperation between the Arab countries of the Arabian Gulf. Role also included mediation and settlements between the Arab countries and other countries; this was especially necessary considering the political volatility of the Middle East region.
- The GCC further seeks to counterbalance the Iranian interference in member countries’ internal affairs.
Second Order Analysis (possible headings):
What led to the creation of the GCC?
The volatile political, religious, and political climates in the Middle East drove Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to create the GCC with the aim of resolving future inter-state conflicts through non-military dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation.
Religious and ethnic driven violence were also a catalyst for creating the GCC.
Due to the region’s wealth in oil and natural gas, the formation of the GCC ensured that member states could address economic issues and differences through diplomacy.
Iran’s increased interference in internal affairs of Middle Eastern nations was another reason for the creation of the GCC since member states could use a unified front to oppose Iran.
History and evolution of the GCC
- Timeline describing how mediation evolved in the Arab region
Arab states, in the late twentieth century, submitted their disputes to: an Islamic third party.
Saudi Arabia held the mediating party role in the early 1980s with regards to settling disputes e.g. Qatar and Bahrain’s dispute towards ownership of the Hawar Islands .
Regardless of the continued strengthening of ties among its member states, the GCC countries still exhibit some form of suspicion and tension towards each other which is not a surprise considering their shared tumultuous history. However, the organization has made it possible to resolve such disputes peacefully.
An example is when Qatar experienced a coup plot in 1996 and blamed “an unnamed neighbouring state”. This served as an indicator that ‘when it comes to regime security, some GCC states saw other members as potential threats”.
Another case of betrayal within the GCC members which was successfully mediated and settled without opting for military intervention was Qatar’s perceived betrayal of Saudi Arabia when the former reportedly sided with Islamists in Egypt during the Arab Spring.

Case of Betrayal and Rebuilding Trust:
After the Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organization, Qatar provided the Brotherhood’s officials with refuge (Keating and Abbott, 2016).
Saudi Arabia formed an alliance with the UAE and Bahrain and all countries recalled their ambassadors from Qatar.
Mediation efforts led by Kuwait and Oman between November 2013 and November 2014 saw the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain ambassadors return to Qatar (Keating and Abbott 2016). Qatar willingly recalled its ambassadors from Egypt and Iran – following in the footsteps of its fellow GCC members: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Foreign Mediation and GCC’s Position in the IR arena:
Looking at the respective member countries’ foreign policies, does the mediation drive stem from their Constitutions? If it does, did their constitutions lead to the creation of the GCC or vice versa?
From the GCC, who are the ‘diplomatic players’? Any policy of alignment of any of the member states with another? Reasons for the same, if any
When mediating in foreign countries, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the most vocal members of the GCC.
Qatar mediated Darfur (2008-2010), Lebanon (2008), and Yemen (2008-2010) and helped resolve disputes between Djibouti and Eritrea, Chad and Sudan (2010).
“Niche diplomacy”: of GCC members when mediating between foreign countries. Bring to light Qatar’s (as a case example) niche diplomacy in current times, and how it became known as one of the most practical mediators since mid-2000s.
Examination of the rationale and conditions of U.A.E., Qatar, and Oman’s mediation efforts in regional and global arenas.
Initial Conclusions
- The creation of the GCC has contributed to the peaceful resolution of the disagreements between member countries.
- The GCC has shown its ability and willingness to mediate between nations outside of the organization.
- Some GCC countries have boosted their “diplomatic profiles” due to reasons of survival and security.
- Iran and Islamic extremist groups are the biggest threats to peaceful settlements of political disagreements.
- This is largely due to Iran’s open opposition to monarchies and increased role of Western Democracies in the Middle East (Keating and Abbott, 2016).
Self-reflective note
Stay focused; this is about mediation activities of the GCC countries and not the organizatio...
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