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Adopted Power:
The Rise of Qatar, and the Potential of the Rentier State

GALEEVA, DIANA (2019) Adopted Power:
The Rise of Qatar, and the Potential of the Rentier State.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 15 October 2022.


In 1995, Shaykh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the new Amir of Qatar, attempted to bring Qatar out from under Saudi Arabia’s shadow and to fill the power vacuum in the Middle East. Though current Amir Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has been seemingly less outward-looking, Qatar appears to continue to have these ambitions. While scholars recognise Qatar’s emergence as a regional power between 1995 and 2019, the means Qatari policy makers employed to achieve this remain uncertain. The central focus of this thesis is to determine what types of power Qatar exercised during this period, and the circumstances that enabled the small but wealthy state to do so. Although informed by theories of power established in the social power debates and International Relations (IR) theory as a whole, this investigation recognises the limitations of these existing conceptualisations, which invariably rely on a single aspect of Qatar’s state structure to explain its rise to political power (e.g. authoritarian rule, geographical/population size, or military strength). Instead, this study demonstrates that while Qatari leaders have relied upon a number of the conditions rightly recognised in existing IR literature as essential to the growth of its power, Qatar’s capacity as a gas-rich rentier state to exploit these conditions solely explains Qatar’s emergence as a regional power. Wealth distribution within rentier states is a concept that is well understood, but the Qatari case demonstrates a state’s ability to establish patron-client relationships with non-state actors, overcoming limitations set by size or military strength to gain international influence. The process by which this is achieved, and the product of this investment, is through what this thesis terms adopted power. The study demonstrates Qatar’s use of adopted power though alliances with non-state actors, such as political Islam, tribes, media, and sport.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Qatar, adopted power, soft power, smart power, hard power, subtle power, political Islam, tribes, media, sport.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Oct 2019 08:06

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