A panel of experts will discuss the blockade of Qatar and the crisis in the Gulf at an event taking place later this month.
Qatar and the Gulf Crisis: Where do we stand, where are we going? Is set to take place on 31 March in the Nash Lecture Theatre at King’s College London.
The event will see Middle East experts Kristian Coates Ulrichsen (Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy), Michael Stephens (Royal United Services Institute Qatar), and Jane Kinninmont (The Elders) discuss attempts to resolve the rift between nations in the Arab Gulf.
It is approaching three years since the blockade of Qatar was launched by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt on 5 June, 2017. Periodic attempts at resolving the deepest rift in the Arab Gulf in decades have made some progress in de-escalating initial tensions but have failed to bring about an easing or an ending of the political and economic measures taken to isolate Qatar in 2017.
Hopes of a breakthrough at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh in December 2019 proved misplaced, and aspects of the media ‘war’ that characterised the opening months of the blockade have returned.
The panel will examine how and why the blockade failed to force Qatar to submit to the ’13 demands’ of June 2017, explore Qatari policy responses as the country gears up to host the 2022 World Cup, and analyse the sustainability of the rift within the GCC at a time of soaring tension between the US and Iran.
Meet the panel
Michael Stephens is the research Fellow for Middle East Studies and head of RUSI Qatar.
He joined RUSI’s London office in September 2010, first in the Nuclear Security Programme before moving to International Security Studies. From March to June 2017 Michael was seconded into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving as the senior research analyst for Syria and Lebanon. Michael has 12 years of experience working in the Middle East, and has conducted research across many countries including Turkey, the Levant, Iraq and the Gulf States. His research has focused on Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Kurdish regions of Syria, their social composition and responses to the threat from the Islamic State; Arab Shia identity across the Middle East and its relationship with Iran, which included co-authoring a Whitehall report focusing on regional responses to Iran’s nuclear programme (2014).
Jane Kinninmont joined The Elders in 2018, focussing on conflict countries and regions.
Previously, she was senior research fellow and deputy head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at policy research institute Chatham House, where she developed and led projects on issues including the dynamics of change in Gulf countries, the political economy of the Arab uprisings, post-invasion Iraq, the politics of sectarianism, and trends in regional geopolitics in an increasingly multipolar world. Before that, she worked as a political analyst and economic forecaster specialising in the Middle East and Africa.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is the fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston as well as an associate fellow with the Middle East North Africa Programme at Chatham House. Working across the disciplines of political science, international relations and international political economy, his research examines the changing position of Persian Gulf states in the global order, as well as the emergence of longer-term, non-military challenges to regional security. Previously, he worked as senior Gulf analyst at the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies between 2006 and 2008 and as co-director of the Kuwait Program on Development, Governance and Globalization in the Gulf States at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2008 until 2013.