72074 Tübingen, Germany
T: +49 7071/ 29-7 83 38
Office Hours: Thursday, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Teach@Tübingen Fellow / Post-Doctoral Researcher
Academic and Professional Background
Philip is a teaching fellow and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen’s Institute of Political Science. Here, alongside his postgraduate teaching commitments in the fields of International Relations and Political Economy of the Middle East, he is undertaking research on the Middle East’s post-Arab Spring conflicts, state- and regime failures via historical analogies.
Before taking up his post in Tübingen, Philip graduated with a PhD at Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs in the UK, where he wrote his doctoral thesis on “The New Silk Roads Impact on the Persian Gulf Region: Contextualizing China’s economic Ties and diplomatic Relations with the Gulf States”. This wider subject matter, for which he undertook several months of independent field research in the United Arab Emirates, remains Philip’s primary area of expertise. During his PhD research, he taught IR for two years at the School of Government and International Affairs and worked as a project manager and team leader at Durham’s Ustinov College.
Over the years, Philip has also undertaken freelance research, analysis, advisory, and client on-boarding in the private sector, such as for the digital marketing firm 77Agency and the political risk consultancy Gulf State Analytics, and several think tanks, such as the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World. He has published a number of academic papers and business- and think tank articles and has presented his research at several conferences.
Philip additionally holds an MA in International Relations, also from Durham University, and a BA in History and Arab-Islamic Studies from the University of Münster in Germany. Prior to his studies he carried out nine months of compulsory military service with the German Federal Armed Forces. He is a dual German and British national.
- International relations of the Middle East
- New Silk Road / China/Asia-Middle East relations
- Gulf security and political economy
- Post-Arab Spring state- and regime failure
- Applied History to current affairs
Gater-Smith, P. (FORTHCOMING), ‘Asia and the Saudi-Iranian “Cold War”. The Desirability of Non-Alignment, the Prospects for Détente, and the Chances of an Asian Peace Initiative’. In: Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (article currently under review).
Gater-Smith, P. (FORTHCOMING), ‘A Pivoting Kingdom? Unpacking and Mapping Saudi Arabia’s Grand Strategy across the Ages’. (work in progress; book chapter in Cambridge University Press (CUP)-volume on Grand Strategy and the Middle East).
Gater-Smith, P. (FORTHCOMING), ‘The Deaf Dialogue’s Prologue? A Book Review on “United States – Iraq Bilateral Relations: Confusion and Misperception from 1967 to 1979” by Shulamit Binah’. In: Middle Eastern Studies… (article currently under review by journal).
Gater-Smith, P. (2019), ‘The SCO’s Strategic Limitations. Situating the Persian Gulf and its American Security Umbrella between Intra-Asian Rivalry and Cooperation’. In: Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 12, 4, pp. 500-516.
Gater-Smith, P. (2017), ‘Intercontinental “Silk Hub”: Sino-Emirati Relations and the UAE’s Role in China’s Trade and Investment with the GCC and Beyond’. In: Andersen, L.E. et. al. (2017), One Belt, One Road’ and China’s Westward Pivot: Past, Present and Future. Danish Institute for International Studies, Conference Report – November 2017, pp. 36-46.
Gater-Smith, P. (2017), ‘Complex Interdependence in a China-Saudi-US Triangle? Assessing Shifts in the Issue Area Linkages between Energy Trade and Security Ties’. In: A. Ehteshami, N. Horesh (eds.), China’s Presence in the Middle East: The Implications of the One Belt, One Road Initiative. Oxon/New York: Routledge, pp. 88-119.
Gater-Smith, P. (2017), ‘Qatar Crisis Impacts China’s Ambitious Foreign Policy’. Gulf State Analytics, Monthly Monitor Report, May 2017.
Gater-Smith, P. (2016), ‘Post-Sanctions Iran: China-Inspired Dream, Soviet-Style Collapse or Something Else?’. Gulf State Analytics, Monthly Monitor Report, August 2016.
Gater-Smith, P. (2015), ‘Is China the Persian Gulf’s Future Outside Power?’. China Policy Institute, CPI Blog, 24 June 2015.
Presentations and Conferences
Durham University (UK) (Sep. 2019): Conference ‘Grand Strategy: Mapping the Contemporary Middle East’. Paper: ‘A Pivoting Kingdom? Unpacking and Mapping Saudi Arabia’s Grand Strategy across the Ages.’
University of Cambridge (UK) - The 2019 Gulf Research Meeting (Jul. 2019). Paper: ‘Asia and the Saudi-Iranian “Cold War”: The Desirability of Non-Alignment, the Prospects for Détente, and the Chances of an Asian Peace Initiative.’ (workshop: ‘A Peace Process for the Gulf: International Initiatives and Gulf Conflict Resolution’).
University of Cambridge (UK) - The 2018 Gulf Research Meeting (Aug. 2018). Paper: ‘The SCO’s Strategic Limitations. Situating the Persian Gulf and its American Security Umbrella between Intra-Asian Rivalry and Cooperation.’ (workshop: ‘The Gulf and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.’).
UK Defence Academy Shrivenham / King’s College London (UK) - Regional Security Research Centre Talk (Jun. 2018). Paper: ‘The New Silk Roads’ Impact on the Persian Gulf Region: Contextualising China’s Economic and Diplomatic Ties to the Gulf States.’
Durham University (UK) (Mar. 2017): Conference ‘One Belt, One Road’ and China’s Westward Pivot’. Paper: ‘Intercontinental “Silk Hub”: Sino-Emirati Relations and the UAE’s Role in China’s Trade and Investment with the GCC and Beyond.’
University of Wales Trinity St. David (UK) - BRISMES Annual Conference 2016 (Jul. 2016): Paper: ‘Complex Interdependence on the New Silk Road? A Case Study on Trade and Capital Flows and Diplomatic Relations between China and the UAE.’ (panel: ‘The GCC and Evolving Global Networks.’).
University of Nottingham (UK) - Conference ‘One Belt, One Road, and the AIIB Vision’ (May 2016): Paper: ‘Complex Interdependence in a China-Saudi-US Triangle? Assessing Shifts in the Issue Area Linkages between Energy Trade and Security Ties.’
Yinchuan International Exchange Center / Ningxia University (China) - The 3rd China-Arab States University Presidents Forum (Sep. 2015): Invitation to attend the China-Arab States University Academic Seminar in Yinchuan, Ningxia Province, China. Participant in open roundtable on China-Middle East diplomatic and economic relations.
University of Nottingham (UK) - Conference ‘The Silk Road Heritage in Asia’s Imagined Futures’ (May 2015): Paper: ‘Imperial Incentives and Interregna. Realism in the History and Futures of Gulf Outside Powers.’
Durham University (UK) - Ustinov College Café Politique Seminar on ‘US-China Relations: Co-Existence or Conflict?’ (Mar. 2015): Paper: ‘Strategic Triangle: China, the Middle East, and the United States.’
Hilton New Orleans Riverside (USA) – The International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention 2015 (Feb. 2015): Paper: ‘Complex Interdependence between China and Saudi Arabia?’ (panel: ‘Energy Security and Interdependence’).
The Portuguese Naval Academy Alfeite (Portugal) - The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association’s Portuguese Atlantic Youth Seminar 2013 (Jul. 2013): Paper: ‘The International Balance of Power in the Persian Gulf.’ (seminar: ‘Enhancing NATO Capabilities in the 21st Century – The Future of Collective Security.’).