24 May 2015
Widely viewed as a shrewd financial investor, Qatar’s return on investment in soft power designed to position it as a progressive ally of world powers in the hope that they will come to the aid of the wealthy Gulf state in times of emergency is proving to be abysmal.
Qatar has invested billions of dollars in the building blocks of soft power that range from the hosting of multiple sporting events, foremost among which the 2022 World Cup; glitzy, high profile real estate in Western capitals; acquisition of icons of Western economies; Western and Islamic art; and bold foreign policy initiatives designed to aid governments in hostage situations and with contacts that they were not able to initiate or manage themselves.
Yet, the payback in Qatar’s reputation, attitudes of law enforcement-related governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, including trade unions and human rights groups and the public, and media headlines has been everything but congratulatory.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg, and the author of the blog The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 26/05/2015