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Despite its oil wealth, account for the instability of the Persian Gulf region

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The Gulf Region is unstable because of the multiple internal conflicts it endures.
    1. In terms of geopolitics, the different powers across the region are trying to take over.
    2. The religious conflicts play an underlying role in the political struggles at work in the Persian Gulf.
  3. Gulf countries as preys to the super powers due to their natural resources.
    1. Most nations are willing to push their own interests in this region.
    2. The United States in particular leads a very interventionist policy.
  4. Natural resources in the Persian Gulf preserve old structures instead of helping such economies.
    1. Most of the Persian Gulf countries are touched by the 'touch disease'.
    2. The wealth created by oil exports maintains the traditional political structures of these countries.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

The Persian Gulf region is known for being a very important area in terms of geopolitics. It holds up to 57% of the world's crude oil reserves and produces 27% of the global oil.Useless to say how vital to the world energy supply this region is and how extreme the tensions generated by this situation are. However, despite its tremendous reserves, it seems like the Persian Gulf region is unable to engender economic growth and has been unstable for decades. How did such a situation occur? Why is there a discrepancy between the opportunities this region benefit from and its economic and political difficulties? First I will address the internal conflicts within this region which account for an important part for the instability of the Persian Gulf. Secondly, I will be interested in the role of the big powers getting involved in this region and worsening its instability. At last, I will try to show how oil itself plays an ambivalent role that is keeps these countries from developing.The different countries making up the Persian Gulf are constantly questioning each other's legitimacy, borders, and right to exploit natural resources. Many underlying conflicts take place in this region and even though wars are not that common ? although much more than elsewhere in the world ? oil plays a key role in this situation because some countries are completely deprived of oil whereas other countries are abundant with this resource, hence the numerous conflicts of interest.

[...] None of these approaches worked very well, and as a result, the United States has had to intervene directly three times in the last 16 years against regional threats Iran in 1987-88 and Iraq in 1991 and this past spring.? Washington had indeed no constant lines of conduct but merely tried to preserve its interests and those of its allies within a very changing region but doing so the US actually fueled the tensions inherent to this region. Each stage of the recent history of the Gulf is marked by the US domination and its incoherent involvement. [...]

[...] Besides, the American Gulf policy is still based on a close cooperation with Saudi Arabia despite the anger of its population toward America and the troubled role this country played in the September 11th events. These changing policies and this permanent involvement of the only remaining superpower fuels instability in the Gulf by supporting authoritarian regimes and revolting a population already wary of any foreign influence. III) The natural resources in the Persian Gulf tend to preserve the old structures instead of helping these nations to develop their economies Most of the Persian Gulf countries are touched by the ?Dutch disease? Strangely enough, whereas the presence of oil reserves should allow the Gulf countries to develop their economies, it seems like they further preserve the old structures of power and prevent the Gulf nations from benefiting from a long term and healthy economic growth. [...]

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