Georgetown Author Presents his New Book Qatar: Small State, Big Politics

Sep 23, 2013

Dr. Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University Qatar (GU-Q) will present his newest book, Qatar: Small State, Big Politics, at a book launch on the university’s Education City campus on Monday, September 23rd at 6:00 pm.

This latest publication for the Georgetown professor and author is a critical and timely account of contemporary Qatari politics and society that challenges the understanding of the role of small states in the global system.

In his book, Dr. Kamrava presents Qatar as an emerging international actor forging a modern path for its society while exerting what he refers to as “subtle power”, which arises from “careful and strategic use of international investments, financial influence, and diplomacy.”

Qatar’s strategic positioning as the headquarters of the global media network Al Jazeera, the site of several international university campuses, and the host of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, as well as through its role as a major player in a myriad of regional and global conflicts, has translated into an exertion of influence on regional and international politics that is disproportionately large for this nation of fewer than 2 million people.

This subtle power in the international arena, Kamrava argues, sets Qatar apart from its other resource-rich neighbors, and is “reinforced by a solid domestic base thanks largely...to the institutionalization and codification of Hamad bin Khalifa’s vision of Qatar’s future.” This vision, he continues, is one of “ultra-modernism, continued hyper-growth, and physical and infrastructural expansion, all accompanied by and made possible through steadily expansive state capacity.”

Following a critical analysis of the history and factors in Qatar’s ascendancy as a major regional force, Kamrava, an established authority on the Gulf region, casts a look into the future to assess the trajectory of both its domestic and international projects, and the issues and challenges that Qatar may face in its single-minded vision for development.

“The real challenge is for Qatar to carry on business as usual in the post-oil era,” he says in conclusion, reflecting on Qatar’s “moment in history.” Until then, he asserts, Qatar can “rest reasonably assured of its place in the limelight of history.”

Following the presentation of his book, Dr. Kamrava will hold a Q & A with the audience, which will be followed by a book signing and a dinner reception.

Dr. Kamrava is also the author of several other books, including, most recently, Iran’s Intellectual Revolution and The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, 3rd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).