Be part of the discussion on the Gulf and the Arabian peninsula at Oxford.


The Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (OxGAPS) Forum is an on-going ad-hoc initiative led by Oxford University students, researchers and alumni.

The forum has, since its inception in 2012, sought to stimulate a fresh approach to the study and discussion of issues related to the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula at Oxford. The ten countries in the immediate focus of the Forum are Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, however given the size and complexity of Iran and Iraq we look at them primarily in the context of their impact on the others.

In the academic year 2013/14 we organised a major international conference, a number of seminars and numerous social activities.

Our plans for 2014/15

Our activities for the year 2014/15 research will focus around three clusters:

  • The empowerment of local expertise and labour in the GCC countries, and the impact of local leadership development, and the future role of expatriate advisors and foreign labour.
  • The role of culture, media and social media in defining a new Gulf identity, within and without of the Gulf region.
  • Governance, resources and sustainability, and the extent to which the present form of governance is adequate for addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

To help facilitate this work, three working groups will be established at the start of Michaelmas Term 2014, made up primarily of students and researchers, focusing broadly on each of the three themes. Each working group will meet in Oxford and on-line, as necessary. During the course of the academic year, each group will be expected to put together a study of around 10,000 words on a topic related to its respective cluster area.

Members of Oxford University who wish to be participate in any of the three working groups, or who are otherwise interested in participating in OxGAPS activities in the next academic year should send an email to We particularly welcome participants from the region. An introductory meeting will be held early in Michaelmas term.


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