Mehran Kamrava Talk at Columbia Global Centers
Despite its small size and demographic limitations, over the last two decades Qatar has emerged as one of the most consequential, and in many respects influential, actors in the Persian Gulf region and in the larger Middle East. This power projection reached its apex under the rule of the former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, who from 1995 until retirement in 2013, used a combination of immense wealth, proactive diplomacy, and visionary leadership to transform Qatar into a regional powerhouse. Hamad’s son and successor, Tamim, has been more measured in steering Qatar into the limelight, chastened somewhat by the unforeseen complications of the country’s Libyan and especially Syrian campaigns. Nevertheless, Qatar continues to remain one of the Middle East’s most important, and in some ways its most maverick, regional and international actors.