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About Center for Gulf Studies
Our Scholarly Interests
We view the Gulf as a highly integrated and interrelated region and therefore aim to study it as such by taking a comparative approach to understanding its component parts both along and across the water.

We seek to focus on the key issues we believe are most relevant and critical to the Gulf in the 21st century, as well as the areas where the most interesting and exciting research on the region is currently being conducted (including topics AUK faculty are presently interested in). The main themes we are exploring include:

  • the environment, renewable energies, and sustainability
  • urbanization, city formation, planning, and development
  • personal and national memory (in relation to history/forgetting, war/trauma, and museums/heritage)
  • human rights, labor migration, and the role/experience of non-national populations
  • women's rights and gender equality
  • democratization, political participation, and civil society
  • education (including higher education)
  • economic development and diversification

Many of the recognizable features of the Gulf today--its highly urbanized nature, the multi-cultural make-up of its societies, and its importance in the global economy--have characterized its collective identity since ancient times. As such, we firmly believe that research on the region's history from well before the advent of oil can provide a deeper and more substantial understanding of its current challenges, developments, and achievements.

Though the Gulf is a unique place, its experiences both before and after oil are not entirely exceptional, and scholarship on the region begs for greater comparative analyses between it and other parts of the world, from East Africa to Latin America. The Gulf has long been marginalized in the fields of Middle East, post-colonial, and Indian Ocean studies (to name a few). We therefore aim to better integrate studies on the Gulf into existing research agendas across the Arab and wider world.


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American University of Kuwait
P.O.Box 3323, Safat 13034, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2224 8399