Tim Niblock

*Tim Niblock is a member of Academic Committee and Co-Chair of Postdoctoral Studies Program at Institute for International and Area Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Emeritus Professor of Middle East Politics at Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter. He was the Founding Director of the IAIS (1999 to 2005). He previously served as Director of the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Durham, 1993-1998, and has also worked at the University of Khartoum and the University of Reading. His research interests currently focus on the political economy of the states of the Arab world, and on relations between Gulf countries and East and South Asian countries.

The approach to Area Studies which underpins the book, consistent with the nature and character of the Institute for International and Area Studies at Tsinghua University Beijing, is one geared to comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives. Most of the chapters of the book focus on developments within a single country, yet the themes pursued are ones which are relevant to the “Global South” as a whole, and most chapters are interdisciplinary in their conception and their content — bringing together material from across the social sciences, economics, history and culture. The coherence of the book rests on this perspective of individual cases reflecting wider trends, laying the basis for and inviting more specifically comparative studies in the future, where the experience of the “Global South” is projected through explicit comparisons within and across regions. The ultimate objective is to seek a deeper understanding of the processes affecting and shaping the countries of the “Global South” today, as they transition away from a world shaped economically and politically by the metropolis of the West, towards a world where economic and political power are more evenly spread. New opportunities for shaping their destinies in a manner consistent with the interests of the population are created, new challenges laid down.