Led by Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates has become deeply embedded in the contemporary system of international power, politics, and policymaking. Only an independent state since 1971, the seven emirates that constitute the UAE represent not only the most successful Arab federal experiment but also the most durable. However, the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath underscored the continuing imbalance between Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and the five northern emirates. Meanwhile, the post-2011 security crackdown revealed the acute sensitivity of officials in Abu Dhabi to social inequalities and economic disparities across the federation.
In The United Arab Emirates: Power, Politics and Policy-Making, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen charts the various processes of state formation and political and economic development that have enabled the UAE to emerge as a significant regional power and major player in the post-Arab Spring reordering of Middle East and North African politics, as well as the closest partner of the United States in military and security affairs in the region.
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Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is a Baker Institute fellow for the Middle East at Rice University. His current research examines political, economic, and security trends in the Middle East and, in particular, the GCC states’ changing position within the global order. He is the author of numerous works including The United Arab Emirates: Power, Politics and Policy-Making, The Gulf States in International Political Economy, Qatar and the Arab Spring, and Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era. Coates Ulrichsen obtained his PhD in history from the University of Cambridge.
Karen E. Young is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She was a research fellow at the Middle East Centre (MEC) of the London School of Economics and Political Science from 2014-15, where she remains a non-resident fellow. From 2009-14, she was assistant professor of political science at the American University of Sharjah (UAE). Her research interests are based in comparative politics and political economy, focusing on processes of economic and political transition, state formation, and foreign policy decisionmaking. Young is the author of The Political Economy of Energy, Finance and Security in the United Arab Emirates: Between the Majilis and the Market, published by Palgrave in 2014.
Hussein Ibish is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is a weekly columnist for The National (UAE) and a monthly contributing writer for The International New York Times. Ibish is also a regular contributor to many other U.S. and Middle Eastern publications. He has made thousands of radio and television appearances and was the Washington, DC correspondent for The Daily Star (Beirut). Ibish previously served as a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, and executive director of the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership from 2004-09. From 1998-2004, Ibish served as communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.