SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters to Britain

David Wearing (Royal Holloway), Iona Craig (New America), Owen Jones (author)

Date: 15 October 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 15 October 2018Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

UK ties with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies are under the spotlight as never before. Increasing controversy surrounds Britain’s alliances with these regimes, and the UK’s key supporting role in the disastrous Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. What lies behind the British government’s commitment to the conservative regional order in the Gulf? Why have these ties grown even closer in recent years, despite ongoing, egregious human rights violations?


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AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters to Britain

In his ground-breaking new book, AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters To Britain (Polity 2018), David Wearing argues that the Gulf Arab monarchies constitute the UK’s most important and lucrative alliances in the global south. They are central both to the British government’s ambitions to retain its status in the world system, and to the maintenance of the UK’s neoliberal economic model. Exploring the complex and intertwined structures of UK-Gulf relations in key areas like trade and investment, arms sales and military cooperation, and energy, Wearing shines a light on the shocking lengths the British state has gone to in order to support these regimes.

The event will consist of a short talk by the author, followed by a panel discussion, and then an audience Q&A.

David Wearing is a Teaching Fellow in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he runs undergraduate and postgraduate courses on US Foreign Policy and on the Political Economy of the Middle East. He completed his doctoral thesis on Britain’s relations with the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council at SOAS in 2017. He has produced research briefings for Campaign Against Arms Trade, War On Want and Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and provided comment and analysis for the BBC, the Guardian, CNN, the New Statesman, the Independent, New Humanist, Novara Media and the London Review Of Books.

Iona Craig is the ASU Future of War Fellow at New America, working on US counterterrorism and foreign policy in Yemen. She was previously the Yemen correspondent for The Times between 2010 and 2015. Her journalism has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Orwell Prize, and the 2014 Martha Gellhorn Prize, Britain’s leading investigative journalism award. Her investigation for The Intercept of a Navy SEAL raid in a remote Yemeni village won the 2018 George Polk Award for foreign reporting. Also in 2018 she was the runner-up for the Overseas Press Club of America Roy Rowan Award for investigative reporting on an international story, as well as the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism.

Owen Jones is an award-winning, bestselling author, and one of Britain’s leading political commentators. A columnist for the Guardian and a frequent broadcaster, he has written a number of opinion articles on UK relations with Saudi Arabia, and reported from Djibouti in 2016 on the plight of Yemeni refugees. His first book, the international bestseller Chavs, was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and chosen as one of the New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he won Young Writer of the Year at the Political Book Awards. His second book is the bestselling The Establishment: and How They Get Away With It, an exposé of Britain's powerful elites.

Chair: Gilbert Achcar, SOAS

Admission Free - All Welcome

Organiser: London Middle East Institute

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330