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Relations between Britain and Kuwait, 1957-1963

By Richard Stables

Abstract

This thesis examines Anglo-Kuwaiti patron-client relations between 1957-1963\ud using substantial archival material from Britain and the United States. The thesis has\ud contributed to the literature of Anglo-Kuwaiti relations and to the theory of\ud international clientelism. The theoretical model was applied to both primary and\ud secondary source material linked to Anglo-Kuwaiti relations. This combined with a\ud traditional diplomatic historical approach to the thesis, produced a number of\ud conclusions and highlighted a number of themes that dominated Anglo-Kuwaiti\ud relations.\ud The themes that dominated the actors in this period included the increased\ud internationalisation of the Gulf, the importance of Kuwaiti oil and sterling deposits to\ud Britain, Arab nationalism and the influence of Nasser, the problem of over-flying\ud rights, strategic concerns, Cold War tensions, the decline in British power and the\ud Arab-Israeli conflict. Another important theme explored throughout the thesis is\ud Kuwait's emerging statehood, implemented by the al-Sabah by the joining of Kuwait to\ud various international organisations.\ud Insecurity often evoked foreseeable policy responses from the client, and many\ud actions of other states produced likely, if not always predictable, reactions of both\ud patron and client. The model of clientelism gave substance to these decisions. In the\ud case of the client, Kuwait, goals of internal autonomy with external security were both\ud expected and observed. The c1ientelist model depicted clearly Anglo-Kuwaiti relations.\ud The principle argument of the thesis developed from the contention that\ud patrons facing a decline in power in the international system use clientelism to bolster\ud their economic position. But a reduction in asymmetry of power with the client ensures\ud that the relationship declines. In the case of Britain and Kuwait, as British power\ud declined, its interests in Kuwait became more economic and financial than political and\ud strategic. In a broader context a transformation of this s011 is generally to be looked\ud for as a great power declines

Topics: DA, DS
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3680

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Citations

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  298. (1959). remain loyal to the local rulers in the hope of riding out the storm of 14
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  311. (1985). Serious consideration was given by the British government to overriding the caution of Sheikh Mubarak and sending in British troops. Such action against the wishes of the 16 Phebe Marr, The Modem History of Irag (Oxford:
  312. (1958). Sheikh Abdullah AI-Salam AI-Sabah, Ruler of Kuwait: I have received your letter dated 12
  313. (1962). Sheikh Abdullah wrote a letter to Khrushchev outlining the independence of Kuwait and its development of democratic institutions. He called 37 PRO: FO 3711162896: Kuwait to Foreign Office,
  314. (1980). Shifting Lines, p. 88; Alvin
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  320. (1964). support was being reiterated in the upper Gulf, the last British troops were taken out of the Aden Colony on November 29, 1967. Aden had become a heavy burden on the British government. Since
  321. (1956). T 236/ 4293: Persian Gulf: Financial and Economic Problems Arising from Increased Oil Revenue: Bahrain to Foreign Office,
  322. (1958). T 236/ 5180: Persian Gulf: UK Policy: The Problem of Her Majesty's Government's Relations with the Ruler of Kuwait,
  323. (1956). T 236/4293: Persian Gulf: Financial and Economic Problems Arising from Increased Oil Revenues: Note Treasury,
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  325. TABLE 5.1 Distances to Kuwait from British Military Bases To Kuwait from:-
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  392. (1971). This was accepted and Luce was appointed to negotiate the end of treaties by the end of 1971. The British-Kuwaiti patron-client relationship had lasted from 1899 to
  393. (1962). threw the Gulf region into further turmoil. The revolution clearly was going to have an effect upon the Gulf states and future British policy in the region. Whitehall had been on the verge of formulating a -
  394. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s devaluation was the real fear of British 44 See p. 25 of this thesis.
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