In This Review

Security in the Persian Gulf: Origins, Obstacles, and the Search for Consensus
Security in the Persian Gulf: Origins, Obstacles, and the Search for Consensus
Edited by Lawrence G. Potter and Gary G. Sick
Palgrave, 2002, 284 pp

This book, like its predecessor, The Persian Gulf at the Millennium, is a solid study. Here the majority of the contributors are scholars from the Persian Gulf region, and the organizing theme of security is addressed largely from the perspective of those states and peoples. The 12 chapters include three sets of matching contributions: Iranian perceptions of the Gulf Cooperation Council states and their perceptions of Iran; Arabian and Iranian positions on sovereignty over the thinly populated but strategic islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs; and the new generations in Saudi Arabia and Iran. A dense but rewarding chapter depicts the Persian Gulf region as distinctive, with the Iraqi and Iranian shores quite different from the interior, and the Arabian states hugging the coast being unlike the rest of Arabia. And a chapter on "The Historical Pattern of Gulf Security" situates the region in world politics from the time of the Portuguese empire to the present.