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Imperialism after decolonization? British relations with Bahrain from the withdrawal East of Suez to the Iranian Revolution

Smith, Simon

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Abstract

There is a growing consensus that the end of formal empire did not necessarily equate with a severing of imperial ties. Some historians have even argued that there was a shift from formal to informal empire in Britain’s relations with the emerging Gulf States. This is especially so with respect to Bahrain which had represented the epicentre of Britain’s position in the Gulf. Nevertheless, an analysis of British relations with Bahrain from the withdrawal East of Suez to the Iranian Revolution belies any notion that Britain succeeded in establishing an informal imperial position after 1971. Not only were Britain’s economic interests in Bahrain eroded by growing competition from its industrial rivals, but also its political and military position was challenged by the encroachment of regional powers. Any hope that Britain could retain an imperial role in Bahrain was undermined still further by the emergence of new internal political forces in Bahrain beyond the direct control of either the ruling family or Britain itself. The unfeasibility of maintaining an imperial relationship with Bahrain after 1971 persuaded British policy-makers to seek to establish recognizably post-imperial relations with the Amirate in the decade following the withdrawal from East of Suez.

Citation

Smith, S. (in press). Imperialism after decolonization? British relations with Bahrain from the withdrawal East of Suez to the Iranian Revolution. Middle Eastern Studies, https://doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2024.2368600

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 16, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 28, 2024
Deposit Date May 30, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2024
Journal Middle Eastern Studies
Print ISSN 0026-3206
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2024.2368600
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/4677415

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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Copyright Statement
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.




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