The Gulf/2000 Project
The Gulf/2000 Project was created in 1993 as a service to scholars, government
officials, business people, journalists and other specialists who have a
professional association with the Persian Gulf and Gulf studies.
The Executive Director is Gary Sick,
the Deputy Director is Lawrence Potter,
the Assistant Director for Information is Laleh Khalili, with additional input
from Roozbeh Shirazi, and the Assistant Director for Membership Services is
The Gulf/2000 Project is sponsored by the Middle East Institute at Columbia University in New York City. The initial
inspiration and startup funding for the project was provided by the W.Alton Jones Foundation. Today, major funding is provided by the Ford
Foundation, with additional support from the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Open
Society Institute of the Soros Foundation, and the ExxonMobil Foundation.
The project is not associated with any government.
The Gulf/2000 project addresses major issues concerning the Gulf region on a
multi-dimensional basis. It has several objectives:
- To establish a network of specialists from every Gulf country and throughout the world to
exchange information and expertise on important issues, regardless of
political or ideological affiliation.
- To organize a series of conferences and workshops where participants can get to know
each other and become accustomed to an exchange of views on a Gulf-wide
- To establish and maintain an electronic library, research facility and live information
exchange on the Internet, accessible to all participants in the project.
The creation of an "electronic community" permits participants
to maintain contact on a continuous basis and is intended to promote an
on-going dialogue among a larger group of experts than those able to
attend the workshops.
- To commission a series of research papers from experts in the field to examine long-term
trends affecting the future stability and security of the Persian Gulf
region. These papers serve as the intellectual agenda for the workshops
and are edited and published as research texts.
Ten international conferences have been held. The first was at the ENI training
facility at Castelgandolfo, Italy, in July 1994. The second meeting, which
focused on security issues, was held in March 1995 at the Emirates Center for
Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The third
conference was held at the Rockefeller Foundation estate at Bellagio in
northern Italy in July 1995. The fourth, in conjunction with the International
Institute of Strategic Studies in London and the Centre for Strategic Studies
in Qatar, was held in Doha in October 1997. The fifth, again at the ENI center
in Italy, was held in July 1998. The sixth focused on "Iran in the 21st
Century," and was co-sponsored by the Centre for World Dialogue in Nicosia,
Cyprus, in June 1999. In November 1999, the seventh conference was held in
Salalah, Oman, on the subject of "Confidence-Building Measures in the Gulf".
The eighth meeting, which examined "the Future of Iraq," was held in July 2000
in collaboration with the Centre for World Dialogue in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Gulf/2000 convened its ninth international conference in October 2001 on the
topic of "Unfinished Business: Iran, Iraq and the Aftermath of War." The
meeting was held at the invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation at their
conference center in Bellagio, Italy. The tenth conference, held in Limassol,
Cyprus in October 2004 with the cooperation of the Centre for World Dialogue,
focused on "The Persian Gulf in History".
In addition, a workshop on Iranian nuclear policy was held in Camogli, Italy,
in early 1997, followed by a series of workshops on nuclear and chemical
weapons at Columbia University. Gulf/2000 also sponsored special panels on
exchange activities between the United States and Iran and on Persian Gulf
issues at the Middle East Studies Association annual conferences in 1996 and
1997. We have also collaborated with a number of other organizations on a
series of conferences and workshops concerning Persian Gulf developments.
Gulf/2000 was the co-sponsor of a conference on "Borders, Battles, and Cultural
Bonds: A Historical and Political Perspective on Gulf Societies," held at the
University of Pennsylvania in October 2005.
Many of the papers prepared for Gulf/2000 conferences have been published in
three books that have appeared to date, edited by Gary Sick and Lawrence
Potter. These include "The Persian Gulf at the Millennium: Essays in Politics,
Economy, Security, and Religion" (St. Martin's Press, 1997); "Security in the
Persian Gulf: Origins, Obstacles and the Search for Consensus" (Palgrave,
2002), and "Iran, Iraq, and the Legacies of War? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). A
fourth volume on "The Persian Gulf in History" is in preparation and is
expected to appear in 2007. Papers from the conference on "The Future of Iraq"
were published in the journal Middle East Policy in October 2000, and a
synopsis of members' views was published as "Women in Iran: An Online
Discussion" in Middle East Policy in the December 2001 issue.
The Electronic Library of The Gulf/2000 Project
As part of this project, an electronic library has been created that is available to authorized
members who have access to the Internet. Membership is limited to scholars and
analysts with a professional interest in and association with the Persian Gulf
region. Regrettably, students and the public cannot be accepted for membership.
The Gulf/2000 Website
This web site is the latest addition to the Gulf/2000 Project. It is intended to respond to the
growing interest in Persian Gulf developments by students and other
non-specialists by making available on the World Wide Web some of the materials
generated by the project and by providing links to the most important web sites
that we have discovered over the years.
For more information, contact Lawrence Potter.
This site was created and designed by John Flaig.
The original maps were prepared by M.R. Izady.
The development of this site was made possible by the support of the Ford Foundation.