Observers of Iran have often ascribed the main cause of the revolution to economic problems under the Shah’s regime. This book, first published in 1990, on the other hand focuses on the political and social factors which contributed of the Pahlavi dynasty. Mehran Kamrava looks at the revolution in detail as a political phenomenon, making use of extensive interviews with former revolutionary leaders, cabinet ministers and diplomats to show the central role of the political collapse of the regime in bringing about the revolution. He concentrates on the internal and the international developments leading to this collapse, and the social environment in which the revolution’s leaders emerged.
The Persian Gulf state of Qatar has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, virtually no potable water, and has been an independent nation only since 1971. Yet its enormous oil and gas wealth has permitted the ruling al Thani family to exert a disproportionately large influence on regional and even international politics. Qatar is, as Mehran Kamrava explains in this knowledgeable and incisive account of the emirate, a "tiny giant": although severely lacking in most measures of state power, it is highly influential in diplomatic, cultural, and economic spheres.
Kamrava presents Qatar as an experimental country, building a new society while exerting what he calls "subtle power." It is both the headquarters of the global media network Al Jazeera and the site of the U.S. Central Command's Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center. Qatar has been a major player during the European financial crisis, it has become a showplace for renowned architects, several U.S. universities have established campuses there, and it will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Qatar's effective use of its subtle power, Kamrava argues, challenges how we understand the role of small states in the global system. Given the Gulf state's outsized influence on regional and international affairs, this book is a critical and timely account of contemporary Qatari politics and society.
Troubled Waters looks at four dynamics in the Persian Gulf that have contributed to making the region one of the most volatile and tension-filled spots in the world. Mehran Kamrava identifies the four dynamics as: the neglect of human dimensions of security, the inherent instability involved in reliance on the United States and the exclusion of Iraq and Iran, the international and security policies pursued by inside and outside actors, and a suite of overlapping security dilemmas. These four factors combine and interact to generate long-term volatility and ongoing tensions within the Persian Gulf.
Through insights from Kamrava’s interviews with Gulf elites into policy decisions, the consequences of security dilemmas, the priorities of local players, and the neglect of identity and religion, Troubled Waters examines the root causes of conflicts and crises that are currently unfolding in the region. As Kamrava demonstrates, each state in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar, has embarked on vigorous security-producing efforts as part of foreign policy, flooding the area with more munitions—thereby increasing insecurity and causing more mistrust in a part of the world that needs no more tension.
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