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Evolution and Dynamics of Qatar–Iran Relations: A Case of Proactive Strategic Hedging

ALQASHOUTI, MIRDEF (2024) Evolution and Dynamics of Qatar–Iran Relations: A Case of Proactive Strategic Hedging. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 05 June 2027.


This dissertation is an inquiry into the rationales underpinning Qatar’s strategic diplomatic engagement with Iran. It engages in qualitative content analysis of scholarly treatises, policy annals and grey literature before conducting interviews high-ranking officials, diplomats and academicians from both nations.
The study reveals a multifaceted and dynamic interaction between Qatar and Iran extending beyond politics into the realms of economics, tourism and culture. The main finding is that Qatar has adopted an assertive strategic hedging stance in its foreign policy vis-à-vis Iran, which distinctly contrasts with the foreign policy trajectories of its peninsular counterparts. The intensified cultivation of political rapport with Iran, particularly in the aftermath of the 2017 blockade demonstrates Qatar’s employment of hedging to manage regional instability and intra-GCC rifts.
The study also finds that Qatar’s deliberate efforts to fortify its relations with Iran contrasts markedly with the assertive dominion practiced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This diplomatic strategy represents a cautious and nuanced approach to statecraft, with profound repercussions for Qatar’s agency within the Gulf region.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Qatar, Iran, small states, GCC, foreign policy, strategic, hedging,
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Jun 2024 09:31

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