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  • 2021-Samira Nasirzadeh-PhD

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Securitisation through ‘Sectarianization’ to ‘Violisation’: Bahrain Post-1971

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Samira Nasirzadeh
Publication date25/03/2022
Number of pages253
Awarding Institution
Award date31/03/2022
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis investigates the relationship between the ruler and the ruled, securitisation through ‘sectarianization’, moving to ‘violisation’ in Bahrain. Bahrain as an interesting case is viewed in its geopolitical context and its impact on sectarian politics post-1971. In Bahrain, the Al Khalifa (family or regime) has promoted a sectarian narrative of conflict, while at the regional level, efforts have been made to locate domestic unrest in a regional geopolitical struggle with Iran. To maintain its ‘short-term’ survival, the Al Khalifa ruling family manipulated the securitisation of its Shi’a population to domestic, regional, and international audiences, which led to the failure of the Bahraini revolution in 2011. The acceptance of domestic, regional, and international audiences and historical developments facilitated the conditions for foreign intervention in Bahrain. This research argues that successful securitisation through ‘sectarianization’ as manipulated by the Al Khalifa regime ensured its survival during the Arab Spring 2011, while the ruling family has used systematic ‘violised’ methods to preserve its long-term stability in the country. To explore securitisation through ‘sectarianization’, moving to ‘violisation’, this research unpacks the past (post-1971), the present post-2011, and the future to understand the case of Bahrain.