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PhD Students

Khalid Sultan AL Nahyan


Research Interests

International Relations with special reference to Foreign polices of small states  

Thesis Project:

“The Foreign Policy of UAE in an Unstable environment”

 This research examines the nature and evolution of UAE foreign policy. In particular, it seeks to explain how small states like the UAE manage to survive in the dangerous environment of Gulf politics. It identifies the various, though limited, options available to the policymakers of small states, including ‘neutrality’, ‘alliance’, appeasement. ‘band wagoning’ etc., and it explains how the UAE has used the spectrum of foreign policy tools, including ‘diplomacy’, ‘military power’, economic strength’, perception management’, etc, to pursue its objectives.

The research also shows how UAE foreign policy has been shaped by the international environment, domestic pressures and the requirements of “regime security”. No attempt is made to provide a historical chronology of UAE foreign policy since the founding of the state in 1971, but the response of the UAE government to particularly significant international events, eg, the Iran Iraq war, the Iranian Revolution, the Gulf wars, the end of the Cold War, and the Arab Israeli conflict, etc, are examined in detail.

The methodology adopted is a mixture of research into primary and secondary sources. Most of the primary sources are UAE government documents located in the Emirates. In addition a number of interviews of relevant individuals - mainly officials, civil servants, diplomats, academics and military personnel—will be conducted according to the guidelines issued by the College.


Dr Petra Dolata

Professor Malcolm Chalmers


Khalid holds a B.Sc from the American University of Sharjah, UAE, in International Relations. He is in the process of publishing his book; “The Three Islands Dispute between the UAE and Iran” expected in Dec 2011. He also gave his research paper (joint with Dr Dolata) in July 2011; “Soft Power in the Foreign Policy of the UAE” to the workshop held by the Research Gulf Centre, Cambridge University.

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