Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Thurber, Ches

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


As the world moves forward in its efforts towards maintaining global security and peace, we witness that many nations face challenges while forming alliances as they encounter threats from neighboring states. The study of alliance formation in the field of international relations is mostly centered around the concept of security, however this thesis will highlight the importance of considering other factors that influence alliance formation such as religion and economy. The thesis will discuss the case of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council in dealing with the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran which is considered a threat to regional and global security since its establishment. The Islamic revolution of 1979 changed the security and social landscape of the Middle East region leading to the rise of key challenges that include the spread of sectarian narratives, extremist groups, proxy wars and decades of conflict in the region. The revolution led the Arab Gulf states into the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council as an alliance, however their policies towards Iran vary. The thesis will reflect the different policies of the Gulf states towards Iran based on security, religion and economy.


53 pages




Northern Illinois University

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