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(De)Limiting The Past For Future Gain: The Relationship Between Statehood, Colonialism And Oil In The Qatar V Bahrain Territorial Dispute

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Chapter Summary

The chapter begins with an account of the general history of the dispute and the proceedings as well as the ruling itself. The discovery and exploitation of oil encouraged both foreign and local powers to construct regimes of territoriality, but how were such borders determined, and what role have legal arguments played in this endeavour? Three cases are available to answer this question: the two arbitrations between Dubai and Sharjah and Eritrea and Yemen and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dispute between Bahrain and Qatar. The last case forms the subject of the chapter, but the other two cases serve as useful reference points, in exploring both local approaches to sovereign control and the link between European domination and treaty law. Discussion about the relationship between tribal allegiances and statehood, as well as the impact of communal property rights on the ability to establish exclusive control, however, was different.

Keywords: Bahrain; International Court of Justice (ICJ); Qatar; statehood; territorial dispute



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