Author First name, Last name, Institution

Nermin Allam
Magdalena KarolakFollow

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Contemporary Gulf Studies

Publication Date



This chapter introduces the theoretical framework of the volume looking at the concepts of identity and culture broadly speaking and placing them within the context of the Arabian Gulf. The introduction interrogates the scope of the khaleeji versus national cultures of these, mostly young, statehood creations. Furthermore, the chapter describes the social, political, and economic trends in the twenty-first century that help explain the rapid pace of change. Within this context, the need of anchoring an identity of each of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is pervasive, often operates as a state project. The search for what could constitute a continuity is nonetheless all the more elusive as various stakeholders actively create and recreate various elements of regional, national, and group identities. Yet, these transformations occur on different levels, formal and informal, planned and random. The rapidity of changes prompted by the unprecedented development of the region accounts for the fluidity of the concepts the volume describes. This chapter raises also important questions on the future trends and challenges that GCC countries face. Ultimately, the introduction provides an overview of the chapters contained in the volume presenting the linking theme between them.




Springer Nature


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access