Qatar: Small State, Big Politics

Qatar: Small State, Big Politics

by Mehran Kamrava
     
 

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The Persian Gulf state of Qatar has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, virtually no potable water, and has been an independent nation only since 1971. Yet its enormous oil and gas wealth has permitted the ruling al Thani family to exert a disproportionately large influence on regional and even international politics. Qatar is, as Mehran Kamrava explains in this

Overview

The Persian Gulf state of Qatar has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, virtually no potable water, and has been an independent nation only since 1971. Yet its enormous oil and gas wealth has permitted the ruling al Thani family to exert a disproportionately large influence on regional and even international politics. Qatar is, as Mehran Kamrava explains in this knowledgeable and incisive account of the emirate, a "tiny giant": although severely lacking in most measures of state power, it is highly influential in diplomatic, cultural, and economic spheres.

Kamrava presents Qatar as an experimental country, building a new society while exerting what he calls "subtle power." It is both the headquarters of the global media network Al Jazeera and the site of the U.S. Central Command's Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center. Qatar has been a major player during the European financial crisis, it has become a showplace for renowned architects, several U.S. universities have established campuses there, and it will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Qatar's effective use of its subtle power, Kamrava argues, challenges how we understand the role of small states in the global system. Given the Gulf state's outsized influence on regional and international affairs, this book is a critical and timely account of contemporary Qatari politics and society.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Mehran Kamrava, a well-known expert on the middle East and the Persian Gulf, continues to contribute immensely to the intellectual life of Doha where he has been working since the establishment of Centre for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University's School of Forgein Service in Qatar.Therefore, his book entitled Qatar: Small State, Big Politics came as no surprise and indeed is very much welcome." —Erdem Tunçer, Perceptions: Jounral of International Affairs(Fall 2013)

"In this impressive book, Mehran Kamrava addresses the remarkable phenomenon of tiny Qatar and whether or not it is likely to become a major regional force. Crucially, he sets Qatar apart from its other resource-rich monarchical neighbors by placing necessary emphasis on its emerging foreign policy."—Christopher M. Davidson, Durham University, author of After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies

"This very well-written book uses Qatar as a vehicle to discuss big ideas like the nature of power, state autonomy, and high modernism."—F. Gregory Gause, University of Vermont, author of Oil Monarchies

"Mehran Kamrava, who is an established authority on the Persian Gulf, has generated the most readable and analytically rich studies of this subregion with great consistency. It is good to see him turn his sharp eye toward the subregion's most interesting state actor today—namely Qatar. In his brilliant new book on this small but economically dynamic Gulf state, Kamrava provides the reader with a comprehensive analysis of this country's power pyramid and the policy imperatives of its modernizing elite alongside a full analysis of the essence of its 'subtle power,’ indeed 'soft power,’ as he maps what he calls Doha’s ‘hyperactive’ diplomacy and regional conduct. This book will excite even the keenest observer of the Gulf for its ability to delve deep while also painting the most intricate conceptual canvass for Qatar’s ‘moment in history.’ Honestly, I read it cover to cover and enjoyed learning something new from its every page! Kamrava never fails to deliver."—Anoush Ehteshami, author of Dynamics of Change in the Persian Gulf: Political Economy, War and Revolution

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801452093
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Mehran Kamrava is Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Iran’s Intellectual Revolution and The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, 3rd edition. He is also the editor of The International Politics of the Persian Gulf, Innovation in Islam: Traditions and Contributions, The Political Economy of the Persian Gulf, and The Nuclear Question in the Middle East.

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