Rethinking Rentier State Theory: Qatar and the Rise of Smart Money

October 11, 2013

Political legitimacy in the Gulf cannot be explained by oil wealth alone. The bargain between rentier states and their populations is simple: the government ensures the financial well-being of the people, and the people do not rebel or try to influence political decisions of the state. In an...

Qatar: Take a Back Seat

May 26, 2013

Qatar’s influence in Syria and its recent presentation of a flawed peace initiative for the Arab-Israeli conflict, highlights the fact that the state has deviated from its former welcomed role as a regional firefighter. Belatedly, the gas-rich state of Qatar has been assuming a geopolitical...

America and Qatar: Amazing Bedfellows

February 22, 2013

David Holdridge, a frequent visitor to Qatar over the past decade, argues that sooner rather than later the US will realize that it should distance itself from the autocracies of the Gulf. Oil and military concerns aside, the Arab street will not tolerate these medieval structures much longer. Not...