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Gulf Conference

Gulf conference

The Centre for Gulf Studies hosts the world's longest-running conference series on the Gulf region and Arabian Peninsula, begun in 1979, at which PhD students, emerging scholars and established researchers present their research findings.

32nd Exeter Gulf Conference - POSTPONED

"Liberalism and Its Paradoxes in the Arabian Peninsula"

22-23 June 2020

The 2020 annual Gulf Conference on the theme of Liberalism and Its Paradoxes has been postponed.  New date to be announced.

Within the last decade, a plethora of voices from around the world have emerged to critique liberalism as the regnant ideology of the globe. Rash or relevant, these critiques agree on the unfolding ideological collapse of some of liberalism’s core tropes, such as multiculturalism and freedom of movement, both human and capital. Meanwhile, the regimes of the Arabian Peninsula are currently in the midst of a self-induced reincarnation into precisely the liberal, ‘moderate’, and free-market social orders that have lost currency elsewhere. This Conference will take these changes as an opportunity to ask how we map such ideological change in the Arabian Peninsula.

 Find details of past conferences below.





The 2019 Exeter Gulf Conference (July) "Zones of Theory in the Study of Yemen"

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The 2018 Exeter Gulf Conference (July) "Beyond Oil, Sheikhs and Security: Plotting New Trajectories in Gulf Studies"

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The 2017 Exeter Gulf Conference (July) "Hegemonic Boundaries and Asymmetric Power in the Gulf" 

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2016 The 2016 Exeter Gulf Conference (August) examining The Gulf and the Wider Middle East: Transnational Dynamics in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, convened by Marc ValeriEnrica Fei, Niklas Haller and Gertjan Hoetjes. Download programme 
2014 The 2014 Exeter-Georgetown Gulf Conference (September) examining The Heritage Boom in the Gulf; Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, convened by Marc Valeri and Gerd Nonneman Download programme
2012 The 2012 Gulf Studies Conference (July), an interdisciplinary conference on the Gulf region (Arabia, Iran, Iraq), past and present, convened by James Onley View programme 
2011 The 2011 Gulf Studies Conference (June–July), examining the aspirations and challenges facing the peoples of the Gulf, convened by James Onley.  Followed after BRISMES 2011 at Exeter.  2011 Conference programme
2010 The 2010 Gulf Studies Conference (June­–July), examining the challenge of identity in the 21st century Gulf, convened by Gerd Nonneman.  Download programme
2008 The 2008 Gulf Studies Conference (July), commemorating 30 years of Gulf Studies at Exeter, convened by James OnleyDownload programme. Download programmeDownload programme
2007 The 2007 Gulf Conference (July), examining the Gulf’s links with the Indian Ocean and Asia, convened by James Onley Download programme
2006 The Global Gulf (July), examining the Gulf’s connections with the wider world, convened by James Onley Download programme
2002 The Gulf and the World Trade Organisation (July), convened by Kamil Mahdi.  
2001 Globalisation and the Gulf (July), convened by Kamil Mahdi.  

Workshop on Gulf Studies (July), convened by Kamil Mahdi.


Yemen: Challenge of Economic, Social and Democratic Development (April), convened by Kamil Mahdi.  Resulting publication: Yemen into the Twenty First Century: Continuity and Change (Ithaca Press, 2006) edited by Kamil Mahdi, with Anna Würth and Helen Lackner.

Human Development in the Arab Gulf (July), convened by Kamil Mahdi in cooperation with UNESCWA.

1997 Frustrated Development: the  Iraqi Economy in Peace and War (July), convened by Kamil Mahdi.  Resulting publication: Iraq’s Economic Predicament (Ithaca Press, 2002) edited by Kamil Mahdi.  

Water and Arab Gulf Development (September), convened by Kamil Mahdi.  Resulting publication: Water in the Arabian Peninsula: Problems and Policies (Ithaca Press, 2001) edited by Kamil Mahdi.

1995 Higher Education in the Gulf: Problems and Prospects (July), convened by Ken Shaw.  Resulting publication: Higher Education in the Gulf (University of Exeter Press, 1997) edited by Ken Shaw.  
1993 The Gulf and the Central Asian Republics (July), convened by Anoush Ehteshami.  Resulting publication: From the Gulf to Central Asia: Players in the New Great Game (University of Exeter Press, 1994) edited by Anoush Ehteshami.  
1990 External Interests in the Arab Gulf (July), convened by Brian Pridham.  Resulting publication: Global Interests in the Gulf (University of Exeter Press, 1992) edited by Charles E. Davies.  
1989 The Post War Arab Gulf (July), convened by Brian Pridham.  Resulting publication: After the War: Iraq, Iran and the Arab Gulf (Carden, 1990),  edited by Charles E. Davies.  
1986  The Gulf and the Arab World (July), convened by Brian Pridham.  Resulting publication: The Arab Gulf and the Arab World (Croom Helm, 1988) edited by Brian Pridham.  
1985 Aspects of Oman (July), convened by Brian Pridham.  Resulting publication: Oman: Economic, Social and Strategic Developments (Croom Helm, 1987) edited by Brian Pridham.  
1984  The Arab Gulf States and the West (July), convened by Brian Pridham.  Resulting publication:  The Arab Gulf and the West (Croom Helm, 1985) edited by Brian Pridham.  
1983 Contemporary Yemen (July), convened by Brian Pridham.  Resulting publications: Contemporary Yemen: Politics and Historical Background (Croom Helm, 1984), and  Economy, Society and Culture in Contemporary Yemen (Croom Helm, 1985), both edited by Brian Pridham.  

The Shatt  al-Arab Dispute (July), convened by M.S. El Azhary.  Resulting publication: The Iran-Iraq War: An Historical, Economic and Political Analysis (Croom Helm, 1984) edited by M.S. El Azhary.

Oil Revenues and their Impact on Development in the Gulf  States (October), convened by M.S. El Azhary.  Resulting publication:  The Impact of Oil Revenues on Arab Gulf Development (Croom Helm, 1984) edited by M.S. El Azhary.


Iraq, the Contemporary State (July), convened by Tim Niblock. Resulting publication:  Iraq: The Contemporary State (Croom Helm, 1982) edited by Tim Niblock.

1980 State, Power and Economy in Saudi Arabia (July), convened by Tim Niblock. Resulting publication:  State, Society and Economy in Saudi Arabia (Croom Helm, 1982) edited by Tim Niblock.  
1979 Inaugural Conference on Social and Economic Development in the Arab Gulf (July), convened by Tim Niblock. Resulting publication:  Social and Economic Development in the Arab Gulf (Croom Helm, 1980) edited by Tim Niblock.