|Abstract||The Changing Regional Order: The Case of Gulf Cooperation Council and the
Blockade of Qatar in 2017 illustrates the facts and potential causes of the diplomatic
breakdown of the GCC states that was intensified with the blockade of Qatar in 2017.
The unjustified and abrupt embargo imposed by the blockading countries has adversely
impacted the unique political and economic framework of the entirety of the GCC states
for the last three years. The GCC alliance had been long appreciated for its geographical
proximity, cultural and historical uniqueness and as a model for a progressive society.
However, the movement or the threat that emerged against Qatar has exposed the
vulnerability of the GCC alliance. The imminent threat led Qatar to the formation of
alliances with other powers in order to strengthen its economy and military, and thereby
to mitigate the consequences of the embargo.
In order to understand and validate the political behavior of alliances in the
GCC, the researcher refers to Walt's threat theory and examines how Qatar in particular
has adopted balance with other alliances and at times chosen bandwagon with the
dominant powers to resist the threats. In addition, the thesis follows a qualitative
method for the collection of data and analysis of details that supports the research on
the changing regional order of the GCC states.
The thesis throws light on the political uncertainty and the economic volatility that affected the instability of the GCC. It explores the historical linkage of the crisis
dynamics of these states, including ones such as the long lasted territorial disputes, and
the ideological differences associated with the Arab Spring movement etc. It exposes
the hegemonic and personalized objectives of the Saudi led coalition that took stringent
measures against Qatar and caused the Gulf crisis. It brings out the involvement of the
US with Saudi Arabia and the UAE that intensified the crisis of 2017 which was caused
by the personalized ambitions of the Trump administration, and the vested objectives
of the US for the alliance with the GCC. The thesis also analyzes how the diplomatic
rift impacted the GCC's political and economic atmosphere, and examines how Qatar
is undergoing the stringent sanctions imposed by its neighbours by adopting resilient
measures that strengthen the country to achieve self-reliance in various levels.