Gulf Foreign Relations Research Program

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Gulf Foreign Relations Research Program

A main focus of the GRC research program on Gulf Foreign Relations is the interaction of the Gulf states with the rest of the world both regionally in the wider Middle East and globally. Within this research area, GCC foreign relations with a number of countries and regions are analyzed in order to be able to adequately and comprehensively understand the dynamics that are driving the foreign policies of the Gulf States, the issues and developments that are determining the direction of those relations, and how the individual and bilateral ties are impacting the broader regional environment. This research area comprises a number of sub programs which include: Gulf Relations with the European Union, Gulf Relations with Asia, Gulf Relations with Africa and Gulf-US relations.

Sample of Past Projects

  • Promoting Deeper EU-GCC Relations: Promoting Deeper EU-GCC Relations was a project within the framework of Public Diplomacy and Outreach devoted to the European Union and EU-GCC relations. It reinforced cooperation between countries in the EU and GCC in a number of key strategic areas of mutual interest. The project consisted of two main areas of activities: first, a training component aiming to raise public awareness and understanding of the EU among key sectors of GCC society; and second, a series of workshops to provide a framework for reflection and debate about EU-GCC relations. Both of these components were supported by additional steps and resulted in the production and targeted dissemination of information via publications and a devoted website platform in order to ensure the increased visibility of the EU in the GCC region.
  • SECURE consortium: The SECURE Project (Security of Energy Considering its Uncertainty, Risk and Economic Implications) was a multi-year research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme with the scope of building a comprehensive framework that covers the issues related to security of supply inside and outside the EU. The Gulf Research Center was awarded participation focusing on the oil dimension and was responsible for all geopolitical issues related to energy security.
  • Gulf Arab Union Project: The project was intended to foster a debate about the direction of unity among the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as to analyze the overall status and prospects for a deeper union among the GCC states.
  • Al-Jisr Project on EU-GCC Public Diplomacy: A two-year project supported and partially funded by the European Commission on “Public Diplomacy and Outreach devoted to the European Union and EU-GCC Relations.” Three main objectives of the project:
    • Enhance public and well as professional knowledge and understanding of the European Union, its policies and institutions, among GCC citizens.
    • Strengthen reflection and debate about EU-GCC relations and contribute to the future of policy-making between the two regions.
    • Dissemination of information on the EU in the Gulf and ensure closer links between the EU and the GCC.

    As part of the project, the following deliverables were achieved:

    • A series of training workshops held in GCC member countries to raise awareness among GCC states, diplomats, academics and opinion makers about the EU.
    • A series of workshops held in Europe and GCC countries devoted to the larger concept of “Considering the Scope for Expanding EU-GCC Co-operation: Suggestions for Taking the Relationship Forward.”
    • The translation of key introductory textbooks on the EU into Arabic.
    • A research project on the challenge and potential of economic growth and diversification in the GCC, including an analysis of how the benefits of the expected Free Trade Agreement (FTA) can best be reaped

  • INCONET-GCC2: A three year project sponsored by the European Commission – Directorate General for Research and Innovation – with a view to establish a “Science, Technology and Innovation International Cooperation Network between European Union and the Arab Gulf Countries aiming at bi-regional coordination towards HORIZON2020.” The project was implemented by a consortium of 20 international institutional partners from the EU and GCC regions. The overall goals of this project were to support institutional bi-regional policy dialogue in Science, Technology and Innovation, strengthen bi-regional cooperation between research and innovation actors and monitor progress in bi-regional Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation.
  • Master’s Degree Program in International Relations with the Free University of Berlin: The International Relations MA brings together young professionals from the GCC countries and beyond in order to further their careers in international relations and to further qualify them to work in governmental agencies, private enterprises, international organizations and NGOs. It is a two-year full-time Master of Arts program, comprising 120 credit points according to ECTS standards.

Click here to view our full list of publications on Gulf foreign relations.
Click here to view our past events focusing on Gulf foreign relations.