Karen E. Young

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A solar plant in Uyayna, Saudi Arabia, April 2018. Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters

In the last few years, the global energy outlook has been transformed. The rise of populist politics and a growing sense of urgency about climate change have roiled debates about energy policy in wealthy countries, generating a dizzying mix of new industrial policies. The COVID-19 pandemic made it far harder to predict fuel prices and consumption patterns and forced many countries to confront their connections to fragile multistate supply chains and legacy petrostates. Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine shattered any remaining fantasies of self-reliance, pushing Europe to reconsider its dependence on Russian resources and forcing the United States to acknowledge the Gulf’s persisting leverage in energy markets.…  Seguir leyendo »

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 2022. Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Royal Court / Reuters

On October 5, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its ten partner states agreed to slash oil production by two million barrels per day. The decision was at once predictable and shocking. It was predictable because OPEC+, under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, had previously telegraphed plans to reduce oil production. But it was shocking because Saudi Arabia and the United States are close security partners, and top U.S. officials had made repeated personal pleas for the Saudis to keep production up. Many of these officials had hoped that the Saudi government would cooperate, especially in light of rising gasoline prices and broader inflationary pressures.…  Seguir leyendo »

FROM LEFT: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad al-Khalifa attend a Cairo news conference in July after their meeting that discussed the diplomatic situation with Qatar. (Khaled Elfiqi/Pool/European Pressphoto Agency)

Egypt is at the ideological center of the ongoing dispute between Qatar and its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, Egypt has been a bellwether for both political and economic reform in the wider Middle East and North Africa. It is also the focal point of experimental efforts of the gulf states to exercise policies of financial and political intervention. How the current GCC crisis unfolds in Egypt can tell us much about the new norms of foreign intervention ­— whether economic, political or military — in the region.…  Seguir leyendo »