DESERT KINGDOMS TO GLOBAL POWERS by Rory Miller

DESERT KINGDOMS TO GLOBAL POWERS by Rory Miller
26 Jan
2017
A great deal has been written about the dramatic rise of the Gulf states from quiet, sandy backwaters in the 1970s to the shiny, towering cities that emerge dripping with oil money from the desert today

However, it is possible, as Miller shows, to take a highly nuanced view on this rapid transition. Despite their cultural and economic similarities, these countries have significantly distinctive identities, and have experienced vastly different trajectories. Qatar is not Kuwait, Bahrain is not Oman, the UAE is internally very different from even itself, and no other country in the world is anything like Saudi Arabia.

Miller goes through their respective histories in fine detail, exploring the local, regional, and international incidents over the past four decades which have shaped this part of the world, their fortunes frequently as volatile as the oil price on which they are so heavily dependent. Whether because of neighbours (Iran, Iraq, etc.) resorting to violence, the crumbling of the global financial system, or oil prices hitting rock bottom, the Gulf has time and again shuddered with ramifications, whether positive or negative. The irony is that for most Gulf countries, stability has been valued above all else, hence the measured responses to the ‘Arab Spring’, which toppled regimes in North Africa, but wilted in the Gulf.

Certainly the Gulf states are not blind to the changing of the winds, and reform is an accepted policy across the region, the need to adapt to a new, post-oil age, one which does not end in societal collapse. Sustainability is key here, creating new economies and societies that can stand the test of time, instead of collapsing as fast as they rose. Then, Miller explains, these new desert kingdoms may truly become global powers.    

Click here to purchase Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers by Rory Millar 

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Air That We Breathe
    Cities the world over are struggling to improve air quality as scandals surrounding diesel car emissions come to light and the huge health costs of po...
    Diabetes: The World at Risk
    Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physi...
    National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    The Nuclear Power Struggle
    The UK appears to be embracing nuclear, a huge U-turn on government policy from just two years ago. Yet this seems to be going against the grain globa...
    When the wind blows
    With 1,200 wind turbines due to be built in the UK this year, Mark Rowe explores the continuing controversy surrounding wind power and discusses the e...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Exhibitions

Twenty one years, sixteen countries, seven continents... RGS-IBG director, Rita…

Films

An emotional and divisive documentary that explores the trophy hunting…

Books

by Paul Murton • Birlinn • £14.99 (softback)

Books

by Harry Hook • HIP Editions • £54 (hardback)

Books

by James Suzman • Bloomsbury • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Thorkild Hansen • New York Review Books • £11.99…

Books

by David Bellamy • Search Press • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Michael Bristow • Sandstone Press • £8.99 (paperback)

Reviews

Oslo makes complex geopolitics a living, breathing spectacle

Films

New blockbuster takes climate chaos to the extreme, where what…

Exhibitions

Prestigious Natural History Museum photography competition recognises Brent Stirton's capturing…

Books

An inveterate armchair traveller ever since my Soviet childhood, I…

Books

Bonnett’s previous book, Off the Map, was a thoroughly readable…

Books

When Wilkinson set off to become the Telegraph’s Islamabad correspondent…

Books

Dartmoor National Park might appear wild, but it’s the lines…

Books

Barry Smith is a self-confessed islomaniac and a fixation with…

Books

Neoliberalism. The word seems to have lost all meaning. According…

Films

Combining a treasure trove of unseen footage set to music…

Books

The dreadful pandemic of 1918, writes Laura Spinney, ‘engulfed the…