Researching the Gulf: Thinking Outside the Box in Qatar

Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies, gave a talk, entitled “Researching the Gulf: Thinking Outside the Box in Qatar”, at the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs. The event was sponsored jointly by CIRS and IFI.

Kamrava discussed the challenges and opportunities present in conducting social science research in the Gulf in general and in Doha in particular, focusing specifically on the research projects undertaken by CIRS and the roles, both current and potential, in influencing or shaping public policy in Qatar and elsewhere.

Beginning with a broader discussion of the establishment and purpose of CIRS as part of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Kamrava discussed the primary research focus and scholarly endeavors of CIRS and the broader consequences of these research initiatives on the state of social science scholarship and the encouragement of a culture of research in Qatar and elsewhere in the Gulf region. By undertaking in-depth, multiyear studies such as "nuclear programs in the Gulf," "migrant labor in the Gulf," and "food security and food sovereignty in the Middle East," Kamrava told the audience that CIRS aims to contribute to our understanding of relevant political phenomenon through engaging in empirically grounded, original research.

The talk was followed by a question and answer session. A video of the event is available here.