The Middle East Institute is proud to host Sean Foley, author of The Arab States: Beyond Oil and Islam (Lynne Rienner, 2010), for a discussion about the politics of the Gulf states and their role in the global economy. In the book, Foley presents a fresh picture of these states as cosmopolitan and tolerant societies that face many of the same socio-economic problems that other states do - including those that lack oil. In particular, he stresses the difficult choices that Gulf societies face as they reconcile the increasing power of women and non-Muslims with the bleak socio-economic prospects for their young men. Foley also argues that the Gulf states are an indispensable bridge between East and West and that their ability to solve their social and political challenges will play a key role in determining the fortunes of the global economy in the twenty first century.