Dr. Christian Koch is the Director of International Studies at the Gulf Research Center located in Dubai, UAE. Prior to his appointment, he worked as Head of the Strategic Studies Section at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Abu Dhabi. Dr. Koch received his Ph.D. from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany with a thesis on the role of voluntary association in the political development of Kuwait. He also studied at the American University in Washington, D.C. and the University of South Carolina. Dr. Koch has published on various issues related to Middle East political development and Gulf strategic issues and is a regular contributor to regional newspapers and media. He is the co-editor of Gulf Security in the Twenty-First Century (Abu Dhabi: ECSSR, 1997) and a contributor to Elections in Asia: A Data Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Der Irak: Ein Land zwischen Krieg und Frieden (Palmyra, 2003). Dr. Koch has also served a contributor to Jane’s Sentinel Publications on Gulf issues. He is a member of the advisory board of the German Orient Foundation since January 2007.