For centuries, the Arabian Gulf has been a crossroads where seafaring people and Bedouins alike travelled great distances transacting business. Events of the past few years, both good and bad, have directed the world’s attention to the Arabian Peninsula, where a rich cultural tradition is rapidly incorporating the latest innovations from around the world. This is the process of globalization. New economies create enormous potential, but it will require great care for the people of the region to steer through a period of profound change. Political and economic interests intent on maintaining the flow of petroleum products on one hand, and people in the Gulf region who assess their won interests from quite a different perspective, on the other, exert pressures from conflicting directions. Reconciling these interests in a time of rapid globalization poses enormous challenges. This timely volume brings together the work of scholars from both the Middle East and the West who have the expertise to evaluate the interaction of new ideas, new technologies and new economies. Brought together by the American University of Sharjah and the Sociological Association of the UAE, the contributors reflect on both the process of globalism and on the traditions of Gulf society and culture, offering views on how these trends interact within the global system.
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