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The Gulf Studies Symposium (GSS) stands as an annual gathering committed to advancing the depth of knowledge about the Gulf region. Our overarching mission revolves around the promotion of high-caliber scholarship and the facilitation of insightful analysis. We achieve this by meticulously orchestrating a series of workshops, with the ultimate aim of bringing forth publications that contribute to the academic discourse on the Gulf.

Our approach to achieving comprehensive discourse is characterized by a deliberate pursuit of diversity among our participants. We actively seek the engagement of a broad spectrum of experts, meticulously curating a blend of both emerging talents and esteemed, established scholars. This intentional balance in our selection process ensures a rich and multifaceted exploration of the Gulf region, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and perspectives.

GSS Group Photo 2


Gulf Studies Symposium is organized in partnership between Gulf International Forum, Gulf Research Center, and Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. GSS has been inspired by the Gulf Research Meeting (GRM), organized by the Gulf Research Center in Cambridge since 2010. Throughout the symposium, we will delve into seven pivotal themes:
• Defense and Security
• Foreign Policies of Gulf States
• Geopolitics
• U.S.-Gulf Relations
• Economy, Governance, and Reform
• Energy Policies
• Society and Culture

We invite contributions that provide fresh insights and unique perspectives on these subjects. For each workshop, we aim to feature 8-10 papers that stimulate meaningful analysis and discussion. Our debut symposium spans 1.5 days, kicking off with an opening ceremony on March 4th and 5th, 2024 at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Check below key dates and submission details.

GSS workshop picture

August 31, 2023: Workshop Directors application deadline

September 15, 2023: Announcement of paper abstract solicitation

October 30, 2023: Deadline for paper abstract for four workshops: U.S.-Gulf Policy, Foreign Policies of the Gulf States, Society and Culture, and Economy, Governance and Reform.

November 10, 2023: Deadline for paper abstract for three workshops: Geopolitics, Energy Policies, and Defense and Security.

January 15, 2024: First Draft submission deadline

January 31, 2024: Discussant review deadline

February 19, 2024: Final draft submission deadline

March 4-5, 2024: Workshops

March 4-5, 2024 Workshop Schedule

March 4, 2024 Program

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM: Registration Outside Gaston Hall

8:45 AM - 10:15 AM: Opening Ceremony at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall

Welcome Remarks (8:45 AM to 9:05 AM)

Dr. Dania Thafer, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at Gulf International Forum

Dean Joel Hellman, Dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service (video)

Dr. Ahmed Sager, Vice President of the Gulf Research Center

Dr. Fida Adely, Associate Professor and Director of Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (livestream)

Keynote Speaker (9:05 AM - 9:15 AM) Dr. Saud bin Abdullah Al Attiyah, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at Qatar’s Ministry of Finance

Panel Discussion (9:15 AM - 10:10 AM)
Dr. Dania Thafer, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at Gulf International Forum
Dr. Ahmed Sager, Vice President of the Gulf Research Center
Dr. Michael Herb, Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University's Middle East Center
Dr. Courtney Freer, Senior Non-Resident Fellow at Gulf International Forum and Visiting Professor at Emory College of Arts and Sciences

Ambassador Patrick Theros (moderator), Senior Fellow and Strategic Advisor at Gulf International Forum, and Member of the Advisory Board at Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

Gulf Book Award (10:10 AM - 10:15 AM)
Presenting the Gulf Book Award to the recipient

10:25 PM – 10:45 PM Group Photo

10:45 AM - 12:30 PM: Presentations and Discussions

12:40 PM - 1:45 PM: Lunch

2:00 PM - 03:30 PM: Presentations and Discussions

03:30 PM - 03:55 PM: Coffee Break

4:00 PM - 05:30 PM: Presentations and Discussions

5:30 PM End of First Day Presentations

March 5, 2024 Program

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Presentations and Discussions

12:00 PM End of Workshops


Geopolitics (2024)

Nuclear Proliferation and Counter-Proliferation in the Gulf: Impacts on Domestic, Defense and Security Policies.

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U.S.-Gulf Policy (2024)

U.S.-Gulf Relations in Transition and the Future of Policy Dynamics.

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Defense and Security (2024)

Broadening Gulf Security: New Perspectives and Persistent Challenges.

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Foreign Policies of Gulf States (2024)

The Quest for Strategic Autonomy in the Gulf: Policies and Capabilities.

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Energy Policies (2024)

Navigating the Energy Crossroads: The Gulf’s Evolving Energy Landscape.

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Economy, Governance and Reform (2024)

Reimagining the Gulf: Economics, Politics, and Reform in Gulf Arab Nations.

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Society and Culture (2024)

The Art of Diplomacy: Cultural diplomacy of Gulf States.

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Workshop directors and paper presenters must diligently follow our guidelines at every stage of the GSS process, ensuring high-quality contributions and a seamless experience.

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