​The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) will hold the third Annual Conference of Arab Research Centers from December 6-8, 2014.  The title of this year’s conference is “The GCC Countries: Politics and Economics in Light of the Regional and International Shifts and Changes”. The choice of theme stems from the political and security challenges the GCC countries face at time of great uncertainties, in addition to the changes that are taking place in the world’s economic structure in the fields of energy, commerce, and technology.

Focusing on the GCC countries derives additional importance due to a perceived stall in the further evolution of the Council’s role, and perhaps even a decline thereof, accompanied by economic and political differences that have recently started to surface. At the same time, the repercussions of the Arab Spring uprisings continue to be felt along with the rise of new powers in the international system, while everybody is watching closely the fallout from the U.S.-Iran possible rapprochement. Furthermore, the GCC countries continue to depend upon the export of fossil fuels, even as oil and shale gas are changing the world energy map, with some energy consuming nations converting into competing producers.

Accordingly, the third annual conference of Arab research centers focuses on the chief challenges facing the GCC countries, and offers a constructive discussion of the region’s strategic importance and its influence upon the salient regional and international developments. Gulf relations with the major powers, Asian emerging nations, neighboring countries, fellow GCC members, and the Arab regional system are all likewise considered as are the numerous political, economic, and social challenges faced by member states.