Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Sectarian Politics in the Gulf

This project brings together a renowned group of scholars to examine the issues of religious, communal, and ethnic identities in the Gulf, and how these impose themselves on both the domestic and international politics of the Gulf.

The central aim of this study is to examine the dynamic ways in which evolving sectarian identities and politics in the Gulf region intersect. Encompassing Iran and the states of the Arabian Peninsula, the research project includes topics that focus on how sectarian issues play out in the realms of domestic politics within Gulf states, as well as those that address sectarianism’s impact on inter-state relations within the region.

Certain streams of scholarship have suggested that conflicts around sectarian identity lie at the very crux of Middle Eastern politics. Sectarianism may be broadly defined as the process through which forms of ethnic and/or religious identity are politicized.

Sectarian Politics
  • Click here to read about the "Sectarian Politics in the Gulf" Working Group Meeting I
  • Click here to read about the "Sectarian Politics in the Gulf" Working Group Meeting II

As part of its Research and Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups that convene in Doha to examine a variety of international issues. The primary purpose of CIRS research initiatives is to fill in existing research gaps, and to contribute towards furthering knowledge on the prevailing issues related to security, economic stability, and the political realm of the region. Each of these projects involves some of the most prominent scholars of the Middle East and the Gulf region. Each scholar participating will be working on a specific sub-topic, under the overarching subject.

Working Group Meetings
"Sectarian Politics in the Gulf," CIRS Summary Report no. 7 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2012).

sectarian Lawrence G. Potter, ed., Sectarian Politics in the Persian Gulf (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2014).