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Failure and success in state formation : British policy towards the Federation of South Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Smith, Simon C.

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Abstract

Despite the apparent similarities in Britain's relationship with the Sheikhdoms of the Lower Gulf and the traditional states of southern Arabia, British policy-makers pursued contrasting policies towards the two sets of territories in the era of decolonization. As regards South Arabia, Britain followed a policy of amalgamating the states into a ‘Whitehall’ federation. The fact that the Federation of South Arabia remained dependent on British backing, and in consequence became ineffably associated with British imperialism in an era of anti-colonial Arab nationalism, fatally damaged its chances of longevity. Applying the lessons of failure in South Arabia, the British were far more inconspicuous in the discussions which led to the creation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Indeed, the fact that the UAE essentially emerged from the initiative of Sheikhs Zaid of Abu Dhabi and Rashid of Dubai, rather than the British, was one of the key factors in its survival. By contrast, the Federation of South Arabia collapsed ignominiously once the ballast provided by the British had been removed.

Citation

Smith, S. C. (2017). Failure and success in state formation : British policy towards the Federation of South Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Middle Eastern Studies, 53(1), 84-97. https://doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2016.1196667

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 22, 2016
Publication Date Jan 2, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 19, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 29, 2018
Journal Middle eastern studies
Print ISSN 0026-3206
Electronic ISSN 1743-7881
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 1
Pages 84-97
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2016.1196667
Keywords United Arab Emirates; Federation of South Arabia
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/436461
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00263206.2016.1196667
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information This is a description of an article published in: Middle eastern studies, 2017, v.53 issue 1.

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