Regional Security Complex, Dynamics and Relationships Patterns of the Persian Gulf region Countries

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of International Relations, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D Student of the Middle East and North Africa Studies, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran


Studying the patterns of relationship among the States in Persian Gulf _ as a sub-complex of regional security_ is the main issue that illustrates the security structure of such a region as well as the attitude‌ of such States’ authorities toward the security issues in their periphery area. It is worth noting that the high level of rivals and tensions among countries in such a region, On the one hand reflects their security concerns to their neighbors and on the other hand, it reveals their inability to follow a regular pattern among themselves. 
The search method at this paper is based on descriptive analysis and data collection is done by means of library and Internet websites. The study of exist patterns at relationships among such countries and how emerging them has a great importance at analyzing the structure of Persian Gulf region. By considering the fact that mentioned above, this paper is done based on the Barry Buzan theory named “regional security complex”. The main research question that has been formulated in this paper is: what are the relationship patterns in Persian Gulf’ security sub- complex? 
The first step to respond above question is studying the forming contexts to the action patterns among Persian Gulf countries. In the second step, identifying the representations of those contexts which forming action patterns among such players. On the basis of research finding, four main areas in both physical and spiritual factors are studied that caused animosity / friendship patterns. Subnational and transnational identities as spiritual factors involving: religious identities (Shia and Sunni) and ethnic identities (Kurdish, Arabic, Persian). Also some physical factors such as oil, struggle for regional hegemony and external intervention factor (coverage) have been studied.
To sum up It is worth noting that by dominant the rival pattern (sometime hostile) among States relationship in such a regional security complex due to emerge political challenges as ‘territorial – boundary disputes’ as well as contrasting visions for regional good order among Persian Gulf countries (specifically Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries).


Volume 12, Issue 42
July 2016
Pages 151-177
  • Receive Date: 29 August 2015
  • Revise Date: 10 November 2015
  • Accept Date: 04 May 2016
  • First Publish Date: 21 June 2016