Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East: Gause, Jones

February 19, 2012

In an exclusive interview provided to you last week Professor F. Gregory Gause of the University of Vermont discussed his Council on Foreign Relations Special Report “Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East” with SUSRIS Editor in Chief Patrick Ryan. They also talked about Gause’s Foreign Policy article, “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There,” which examined U.S. policy challenges in the Gulf. When asked about the basis of a sound US-Saudi relationship going forward, Gause offered:

“I think as long as we both emphasize the common interests, there is a very firm basis for the relationship, as long as we don’t have unrealistic expectations of each other. I think that on the American side we shouldn’t have an unrealistic expectation of Saudi domestic political reform. I think on the Saudi side they shouldn’t have an unrealistic expectation of what the United States can do on the Arab-Israeli front. If we can set aside unrealistic expectations and concentrate on a few core interests, I think there’s a very firm basis for the relationship to go forward. We do share a number of interests in the Middle East.”

Last month SUSRIS provided the foreword from Professor Gause’s “Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East” special report in which he tackles the important questions in chapters addressing “Regime Stability in Saudi Arabia,” “Saudi Regional Policy in the Wake of the Arab Upheaval,” and “Saudi-US Relations.”

In January Professor Gause appeared at a CFR event with historian Toby C. Jones who offered his perspectives on the “Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East” report. The panel was shared by CFR in a video, the link to which we provide here for your use. This presentation, about one hour twenty minutes, provides an excellent assessment of Saudi Arabia’s stability and place in the Middle East. We commend it to your attention.

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About F. Gregory Gause III

Professor F. Gregory Gause, III

Professor F. Gregory Gause, III

F. Gregory Gause, III is professor of political science at the University of Vermont, and, since 2010, chair of the department. From 1997 to 2008 he was director of the University’s Middle East Studies Program. He was previously on the faculty of Columbia University (1987-1995) and was Fellow for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1993-1994). During the 2009-10 academic year he was Kuwait Foundation Visiting Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In spring 2009 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the American University in Kuwait. In spring 2010 he was a research fellow at the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies and Research in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

His research interests focus on the international politics of the Middle East, with a particular interest in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf. He has published three books — “The International Relations of the Persian Gulf” (Cambridge University Press, 2010); “Oil Monarchies: Domestic and Security Challenges in the Arab Gulf States” (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1994); and “Saudi-Yemeni Relations: Domestic Structures and Foreign Influence” (Columbia University Press, 1990).

His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Middle East Journal, Security Studies, Washington Quarterly, National Interest, Review of International Studies and in other journals and edited volumes. He has testified on Gulf issues before the Committee on International Relations of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and has made numerous appearances on television and radio commenting on Middle East issues.

Before completing his Ph. D., he held research positions at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California and at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1987 and his B.A. (summa cum laude) from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia in 1980. He studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo (1982-83) and Middlebury College (1984).

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