Qatar and Iceland: A Study in Soft Power Strategy

October 10, 2016

Qatar should take note of Iceland’s successful use of soccer as a tool of soft power. The contrast in soccer soft power between Qatar and Iceland speaks volumes. A comparison of the strategies of both countries demonstrates that it takes more than money to leverage soccer to create political,...

World Cup Corruption: What Now for Qatar?

June 03, 2014

Revelations over vote-buying could thwart Qatar’s hopes of using the World Cup as a tool for soft power. A disclosure by The Sunday Times of millions of documents allegedly revealing Qatari vote-buying for World Cup hosting rights could shake the Gulf. The revelations might affect the...

Qatar and the World Cup: Protests and Human Rights In Play

May 20, 2014

Mega sporting events allow Qatar and other nations to build soft power on the international stage. Mass protests against Brazil's hosting of the FIFA World Cup, Turkey's loss of opportunities to hold sports events, and controversy over Qatar's labor system are impacting the global sports world's...

The Gulf: Foreign Workers’ Rights

January 02, 2014

Despite the spotlight on Qatar, foreign workers' conditions in the UAE are equally harsh. Gulf states are lining up as targets for criticism by international trade unions and human rights groups for their treatment of foreign workers. Qatar, long in the firing line after its winning bid to...

Investment in Soccer: A Double-Edged Sword for Gulf States

December 10, 2013

In bids to enhance their soft power, Gulf states run the risk of reputational damage. Saudi Arabia has become the latest Gulf country to discover that investment in European soccer to achieve national and corporate branding, risks reputational damage when potentially discriminatory government and...