Art and Cultural Production in the GCC

To cite this publication: "Art and Cultural Production in the GCC," CIRS Summary Report no. 18 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2017).

In an effort to explore the evolution of the art and cultural scene in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, and to understand the complexities of these fields, the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University in Qatar undertook a two-year research initiative titled “Art and Cultural Production in the GCC.” Artists, cultural administrators, curators, critics, and academics were invited to Doha to attend two separate meetings in which they debated topics of relevance to the GCC’s cultural field. The research culminated in the publication of original studies in a special issue of the Journal of Arabian Studies (September 2017). This project builds on the available literature by contributing towards furthering knowledge on the prevailing issues around art and cultural production in the Gulf.


"الإنتاج الفني والثقافي في دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي"، تقرير مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة العربي الموجز رقم ١٨ (الدوحة، قطر: مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة، ٢٠١٨).

في حين توجهت استثمارات الإمارات وقطر في البداية إلى الاستحواذ على الفن الأجنبي، فإنها، جنباً إلى جنب مع بقية دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي مثل: البحرين والكويت والسعودية وسلطنة عُمان، بدأت تركز على ترشيد الفن المحلي والمعاصر. اتخذت عملية تطور الإنتاج الفني والثقافي في هذه الدول مسارات مختلفة، ولكن الاهتمام الأساسي انصبّ على الحركات الفنية المعاصرة المحلية، التي تعرض، وتعكس، تجارب الحياة اليومية ومُدركات الثقافة الخليجية.


The 2016-2017 CIRS Annual Report contains information about all the activities, research initiatives, publications, lectures, and events that CIRS organized throughout the year. Highlights include the publication of five new CIRS books, as well as the initiation of new research initiatives and grant awards.

Critical Issues in Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf Cooperation Council States

To cite this publication: Ravinder Mamtani and Albert B. Lowenfels, eds., Critical issues in Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf Cooperation Council States (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2018). 

This is the first book to examine challenges in the healthcare sector in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain). These countries experienced remarkably swift transformations from small fishing and pearling communities at the beginning of the twentieth century to wealthy petro-states today. Their healthcare systems, however, are only now beginning to catch up. Rapid changes to the population and lifestyles of the GCC states have completely changed—and challenged—the region's health profile and infrastructure. While major successes in combating infectious diseases and improving standards of primary healthcare are reflected in key health indicators, new trends have developed; increasingly "lifestyle" or "wealthy country" diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, have replaced the old maladies. To meet these emerging healthcare needs, GCC states require highly trained and skilled healthcare workers, an environment that supports local training, state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratories and hospitals, research production and dissemination, and knowledge acquisition. They face shortages in most if not all of these areas. This book provides a comprehensive study of the rapidly changing health profile of the region, the existing conditions of healthcare systems, and the challenges posed to healthcare management across the six states of the GCC. Read more from Georgetown University Press.

Read about the research initiative

Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC

To cite this publication: Zahra Babar, ​​ed., Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017). 

Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC is a unique, original work of scholarship based on in-depth fieldwork shedding light on a topic both highly relevant and woefully understudied. It focuses on the earlier community of Arab immigrants within the GCC, who are among the politically most significant and sensitive of migrant groups in the region. Through its multi-disciplinary lenses of social history, cultural studies, economics, and political science, the book presents original data and provides analyses of the settlement and continued evolution of migrant Arab communities across the GCC, their work in and assimilation within host societies and labour markets, and their political, economic, social and cultural significance both to the GCC region and to their countries of origin. Read more from Oxford University Press

Read about the research initiative

The Great Game in West Asia

To cite this publication: "The Great Game in West Asia," CIRS Summary Report no. 17 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2017).

The Great Game in West Asia examines the strategic competition between Iran and Turkey for power and influence in the South Caucasus. These neighboring Middle East powers have vied for supremacy and influence throughout the region and especially in their immediate vicinity, while contending with ethnic heterogeneity both within their own territories and across their borders. Turkey has long conceived of itself as not just a bridge between Asia and Europe but in more substantive terms as a central player in regional and global affairs. If somewhat more modest in its public statements, Iran’s parallel ambitions for strategic centrality and influence have only been masked by its own inarticulate foreign policy agendas and the repeated missteps of its revolutionary leaders. But both have sought to deepen their regional influence and power, and in the South Caucasus each has achieved a modicum of success. In fact, as the contributions to this volume demonstrate, as much of the world’s attention has been diverted to conflicts and flashpoints near and far, a new great game has been unravelling between Iran and Turkey in the South Caucasus.


"اللعبة الكبرى في غرب آسيا"، تقرير مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة العربي الموجز رقم ١٧ (الدوحة، قطر: مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة، ٢٠١٨).

ظهر مصطلح غرب آسيا نحو منتصف القرن الماضي، وجاء جزئياً كاستجابة للمشاعر المعادية للإمبريالية التي صاغت مفهوم “الشرق الأوسط” خلال الفترة الاستعمارية. وبشكل عام، تشير عبارة غرب آسيا إلى الدول العربية المطلة على الخليج العربي، والمشرق العربي، وإيران، وتركيا، ودول جنوب القوقاز المؤلفة من جورجيا وأرمينيا وأذربيجان. ومن المؤكد أنه يمكن مناقشة منطق تجميع البلدان التي تبدو للوهلة الأولى شديدة التنوع، وأنها لا تتشاطر سوى القليل من القواسم المشتركة. ومع ذلك، فإن تجميع دول غرب آسيا ليس شأناً تعسفياً ولا عقلانياً، بل هو شأن التاريخ والجغرافيا والدبلوماسية والثقافة؛ إذ تشترك دول المنطقة في إرث تاريخي مشترك، بما في ذلك المواجهات مع الإمبراطوريات الروسية والعثمانية، وانتشار الإسلام، وتأثير الاستعمار الأوروبي، وتشكيل دول حديثة ذات حدود إقليمية معقدة وسكان متعددي الإثنيات.

Transitional Justice in the Middle East and North Africa

To cite this publication: "Transitional Justice in the Middle East and North Africa," CIRS Summary Report no. 16 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2017).

Following the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, many had high hopes not only for democratization but also for transitional justice to address the myriad abuses that had taken place in the region, both during the uprisings and for decades prior to them. Despite these hopes, most of the transitions in the region have stalled, along with the possibility of transitional justice. This volume is the first to look at this process and brings together leading experts in the fields of human rights and transitional justice, and in the history, politics and justice systems of countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Bahrain and Morocco. While these countries have diverse histories, political institutions, and experiences with accountability, most have experienced non-transition, stalled transition, or political manipulation of transitional justice measures, highlighting the limits of such mechanisms. These studies should inform reflection not only on the role of transitional justice in the region, but also on challenges to its operation more generally.

The Muslim World: The State of Middle Eastern Youth

To cite this publication: Islam Hassan and Paul Dyer, guest eds., "The Muslim World: The State of Middle Eastern Youth," CIRS Special Issue of The Muslim World 107, no. 1 (January 2017).

This special issue of the Muslim World studies the state of Middle Eastern youth, focusing on the ways in which their experiences continue to shape their worldviews and their priorities. The contribution of this special issue to the burgeoning literature on Middle Eastern youth enhances our understanding of the lives of the young in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and examines Middle Eastern youth's novel methods of mobilization and its regeneration of a new consciousness. The papers in this special issue are the results of a multi-disciplinary research initiative launched by CIRS in collaboration with Silatech to explore the ways in which youth manage and respond to various socioeconomic and political constraints across the region. As many of the region’s youth are contending with the effects of social and economic exclusion, this project explores the ways in which youth manage and respond to various socioeconomic and political constraints across the region, as well as the potentials of policy to support youth.

Target Markets: International Terrorism Meets Global Capitalism in the Mall

To cite this publication: Suzi Mirgani, Target Markets: International Terrorism Meets Global Capitalism in the Mall (Bielefeld: Transcript Press, 2017).

This book explores the points of convergence between corporate capitalist and terrorist practice. Assessing an increase in the number of terrorist attacks directed at commercial entities in urban areas, with an emphasis on the shopping mall in general and Nairobi's Westgate Mall in particular, Suzi Mirgani offers a fascinating and disturbing perspective on the spaces where the most powerful forces of contemporary culture – the most mainstream and the most extreme – meet on common ground. Read more from the distributor, Columbia University Press.