The impact of COVID-19 on the Persian Gulf: the realist perspective
University of Gdańsk, Poland
Data publikacji: 29-12-2023
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2022;58:157-179
This article aims to show the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on international relations and state policy in the Persian Gulf through the prism of realism theory. COVID-19 became a game changer for the domestic politics of the Persian Gulf countries and for the balance of power in that subregion. The application of realism reveals the statecraft of the Arab Persian Gulf during the pandemic to be a struggle for power and its consolidation. Therefore the hypothesis of the article holds that the authoritarian Arab Gulf states used the global COVID-19 pandemic crisis to consolidate and strengthen regime power and conduct humanitarian/mask/COVID-19 diplomacy toward the regimes most affected by the pandemic, shifting the geopolitical landscape. The first part of the article presents the general assumption of the analysis and the theoretical framework. The second and the third respectively discuss domestic and foreign policies of the Arab Persian Gulf states in the face of the pandemic, highlighting strengthening authoritarian tendencies and authoritarian bilateral cooperation. The fourth part relate to the Gulf Cooperation Council and its reaction on COVID-19. The last part draws on the theoretical framework adopted in the article offer conclusions that answer research questions.
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