Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Second Department


Reader 1

William Ascher

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© 2016 Caroline J Belmont


Despite their natural resources, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman) have failed to live up to their economic potential, primarily due to their dependence on a revenue source with volatile prices and political significance in an unstable region. This thesis argues that the best way to convert oil wealth into consistent long term growth is through diversification, both by investing in foreign assets and by growing domestic sectors that are independent from oil and gas prices. The research further investigates the primary tool these countries have used to do so – sovereign wealth funds – and how their implementation and structures have impacted their effectiveness in achieving economic diversification and growth.