The New Qatar
: The Challenges and Opportunities of Small State Diplomacy, State building and Sustainability, 1995-2010

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research examines the State of Qatar in the seminal time period between 1995 and 2010. This period began with the accession to power of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who ruled Qatar until his abdication in 2013. It ended with Qatar’s successful bid to hold the Football World Cup in 2022. This thesis is divided into seven chapters, as well as an introduction and conclusion. Taken together they examine the small state diplomacy, state-building and sustainability efforts of the government of Qatar over the course of the period under analysis. Chapter one provides an examination and analysis of Qatar’s achievements in terms of what it says about diplomacy, state-building and sustainability over the fifteen-year period addressed in this thesis. It then goes back to look at Qatar in the immediate period prior to 1995 when Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani came to power. Chapter three examines Qatar’s socio-economic developments between 1995 and the September 2011 (9/11) attacks on the United States. Chapter four looks at the post-1995 Qatari efforts to engage in diplomacy in Palestine and Lebanon. The analysis of these two important examples of Qatari involvement in the contemporary diplomacy of the region is combined with an examination of the US-Qatari strategic relationship. Chapter five examines the ongoing domestic socio-economic and political challenges and reforms that preoccupied Qatari rulers in the period between 1995 and 2010. Chapter six looks in detail at the role of Al-Jazeera in developing Qatar’s regional and global standing and examines the extent that the news channel has been a key instrument of Qatari foreign policy. Chapter seven, the final chapter, examines the contemporary challenges that Qatar faces in consolidating and sustaining its achievements in the period between 1995 and 2010.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorRory Miller (Supervisor), Craig Larkin (Supervisor) & Michael Kerr (Supervisor)

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