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Editorial Note: Foreign Relations of the GCC Countries amid Shifting Global and Regional Dynamics


This Special Issue examines the foreign policies of the GCC countries six years after the Arab uprisings in terms of drivers, narratives, actions and outcomes, paying particular attention to Middle Eastern countries, Iran and Western international powers. The assessment focuses on current affairs, but also contributes to establishing a productive link between empirical studies and the existing theoretical frameworks that help explain the increasing foreign policy activism of the GCC countries. All in all, the articles collected in this Special Issue shed light on and provide a more solid and fine-grained understanding of how regional powers like Saudi Arabia, as well as the other smaller GCC countries, act and pursue their interests in an environment full of uncertainty, in the context of changing regional and global dynamics and power distribution.
The Special Issue brings together a selection of articles originally presented and discussed at the Seventh Gulf Research Meeting (GRM) organised by the Gulf Research Centre Cambridge at the University of Cambridge on 16-19 August 2016.