Workshop 9 / GRM 2024
Conflict Resolution Initiatives in the Gulf and Beyond: Strategies of Engagement and Prospects of Success


Since the outbreak of the “Arab Spring” at the end of 2010, the Gulf region and neighbouring areas have been trapped in sectarian conflicts, proxy wars, and civil hostility. The past three years have witnessed the relaxation of geopolitical tensions among Gulf countries, suggesting that a new wave of reconciliation and rapprochement is underway. Yet at the same time conflicts in the wider West Asia/North Africa region continue, and in some cases are growing more intense. These conflicts inevitably have implications for conflict-resolution processes within and among Gulf states, and may indeed affect their stability and well-being. The IsraelGaza war (ongoing at the time of writing) is perhaps the most salient case in point. This workshop seeks to take stock of the record of conflict resolution in and affecting the Gulf region. What have been the dynamics behind attempts at conflict-resolution? What techniques of, and approaches to, peace-making are likely to prove of lasting significance? And how can ongoing conflicts affecting the Arab states of the Gulf best be brought within an effective conflict-resolution framework? Contributions can be in the form of case studies or else can take a broader comparative approach. Four distinct levels of conflict resolution in the region can be considered. First, conflict resolution within certain Gulf/Arabian Peninsula states, such as the national reconciliation processes in Iraq and Yemen. Second, conflict resolution undertaken by powers external to a conflict between/among Gulf countries (such as the roles of China and Iraq in mediating an agreement to end Saudi-Iranian differences, and the role of Oman in mediating a reconciliation between Qatar and some other GCC countries). Third, dispute/conflict resolution on transregional issues affecting Gulf states, such as on illegal migration, drug trafficking, and terrorism. Fourth, conflict resolution initiatives undertaken by Gulf states on wider regional conflicts, such as those stemming from domestic conflicts in Sudan, Libya, and Syria, and, recently, the war in Ukraine.





Ram Sathe Chair for International Studies / Former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE -
Symbiosis International University, Pune

Professor Tim


Emeritus Professor of Middle East Politics Middle East Politics
University of Exeter/Tsinghua University

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