Qatar and the Arab Spring by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

By Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

Qatar and the Arab Spring bargains a frank exam of Qatar's startling upward push to neighborhood and foreign prominence, describing how its specified coverage stance towards the Arab Spring emerged. in just a decade, Qatari policy-makers - led by way of the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his major minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani - catapulted Qatar from a sleepy backwater to a local energy with really overseas achieve. as well as pursuing an competitive state-branding process with its profitable bid for the 2022 FIFA global Cup, Qatar solid a name for diplomatic mediation that mixed intensely custom-made engagement with monetary backing and favorable media insurance during the Al-Jazeera.

These components converged in early 2011 with the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolts in North Africa, Syria, and Yemen, which Qatari leaders observed as a chance to seal their nearby and overseas impact, instead of as a problem to their authority, and this guided their help of the rebellions opposed to the Gaddafi and Assad regimes in Libya and Syria.

From the excessive watermark of Qatari impression after the toppling of Gaddafi in 2011, that speedily gave option to coverage overreach in Syria in 2012, Coates Ulrichsen analyses Qatari ambition and functions because the tiny emirate sought to form the transitions within the Arab global.

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14 However, the juncture of domestic weakness and potential riches heightened Qatari vulnerability to the expansionary designs of the newly-unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This period of instability culminated in 1935 with King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud “informing” the ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani (who reigned from 1913 to 1949), that the inhabitants of the peninsula were part of “his” tribal territory and thus owed alle18 HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL CONTEXT giance to the Saudi state.

The period of greatest uncertainty lasted from Britain’s military withdrawal on 30 November 1971 until President Jimmy Carter’s proclamation of the Carter Doctrine on 23 January 1980. ” Yet during the intervening eight years, threats and challenges intermixed dynamically at the national, regional and international levels. They included the physical and ideational danger posed by the ten-year Marxist rebellion in the Omani province of Dhofar (1965–75), supported by the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen as well as Soviet and Chinese sponsors.

Production increased rapidly, and the sudden inflow of revenues quickly transformed the economic and social conditions of what had hitherto been one of the poorest regions of the Arabian Peninsula. 16 Nevertheless, as the stakes of exerting control rose, the period from the 1950s to the 1970s was also a time of prolonged political upheaval and uncertainty within the ruling family. 17 By the time that Sheikh Khalifa assumed power, Qatari institutions were suffering from neglect and badly needed reorganising—a state of affairs epitomised by Sheikh Ahmed’s remarkable decision to remain on holiday in Switzerland instead of returning to his capital when Qatar gained full independence as a sovereign state on 3 September 1971.

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