Regional Integration in the Gulf: A Survey of Citizen Attitudes toward the Gulf Cooperation Council

In May 2011, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) created an international stir when it openly discussed a possible expansion of its membership, which has remained stable in the thirty years since the organization’s founding in 1981. Yet this initiative, if perhaps the most dramatic, is but the latest in a longstanding agenda aimed at increasing regional cooperation among the Gulf states in general, as well as expanding the collective international role of the GCC in the economic, political, and military spheres. This study will carry out a pan-GCC survey of attitudes toward further regional integration and GCC expansion among the citizens of its member states. The project aims not only to gauge popular views toward increased membership and cooperation but more importantly to discover: (1) the factors—attitudinal, economic, demographic, et cetera—that explain why individuals tend to support or oppose these policies; and (2) the extent to which these explanatory factors differ across Gulf citizenries. In sum, this research project seeks to understand the individual- and country-level factors that determine popular attitudes toward the GCC and the implications of these individual- and national-level relationships for the future of regional cooperation among the Gulf states and their citizens.


Mark Tessler, Center for Political Studies (PI)

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF)

Project Period
November 10, 2013 - November 10, 2015