© 2017

Security in the Persian Gulf Region

  • Offers fresh analyses of security issues in the Persian Gulf

  • Sheds light on the methodological approaches to this field, many of which have been largely unaddressed by other academics

  • Provides primary interviews to form a deeper understanding of regional security dynamics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Approach

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Fatemeh Shayan
      Pages 3-19
  3. Analyses

  4. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 189-226

About this book


This book examines changes in the Persian Gulf security complex following the United States (US) invasion of Iraq in 2003, focusing on threats to the collective identities of two religious sects - Shia and Sunni. Although there is a growing body of literature examining security in the Persian Gulf, little focus has been given to the theoretical and methodological aspects of the problem. In this volume, Shayan analyses the causes behind the security changes which occurred in the region since 2003 and demonstrates how regional security dynamics are interlinked to perceived sectarian threats on the Shia and Sunni religious identities. This text is essential reading for political scientists, policy makers and scholars of international relations. 


Persian gulf Security complex Process tracing Copenhagen School Al Qaeda Anti-Americanism societal threats 2003 Iraq War

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.International RelationsUniversity of Isfahan, Iran and University of Tampere, FinlandIsfahanIran

About the authors

Fatemeh Shayan is a teacher at Isfahan University, Iran. She is a post-doctoral scholar at Tampere University, Finland. She has been a visiting scholar at University of Exeter, UK, University of Oslo, Norway, Plekhanov University, Lomonosov Moscow State University and FINEC University, Russia.

Bibliographic information


“This book examines the changing dynamics of the security complex in the very important, highly volatile and sensitive region of the Persian Gulf. Fatemah Shayan synthesizes Regional Security Complex Theory with securitization theory and sociological ontological security, in order to process trace the shifting security structure of the Persian Gulf region in the aftermath of the Iraq war in 2003. She has shown considerable ability to rigorously deal with multi-level issues while providing theoretical insights of significant policy implications. Particularly as related to how these changes have contributed to a concomitant increase in anti-Americanism as well as to the increased regional influence of al-Qaeda and other extremist groups. This book is an important reading for all those interested in grasping the complexities of the region.” (Amr G. E. Sabet, Associate Professor, Dalarna University, Sweden)

“The study of Persian Gulf security issues tends to shy away from multi-sectorial views of security and the use of frameworks that emphasize the regional level of international politics. Fatemah Shayan's book is in this sense a welcome combination of empirical investigation into the security issues of the region beyond military and political sectors that is guided by a constructivist regional security framework. It will be of interest for those who want to consider the impact of the Iraq war of 2003 on societal and ontological security in the Persian Gulf.” (Juha A. Vuori, Acting Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland)

“The study of Dr. Fatemah Shayan on security in the Persian Gulf is a very timely peace of scholarly work. Even the two first months of 2016 have shown us how quickly and rapidly the situations change in this region. The imbroglio between Iran and Saudi-Arabia, the Russian involvement in Syria as well as the deterioration of the Libyan situation along the IS extension are good examples of this volatility. This book offers an excellent guide to this multiform landscape of the whole area and so helps us to understand the deep roots of its daily complexity.” (Tuomo Melasuo, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, University of Tampere, Finland)