Mediation and Qatari Foreign policy

Author: Kamrava, Mehran

Source: The Middle East Journal, Volume 65, Number 4, Autumn 2011 , pp. 539-556(18)

Publisher: Middle East Institute

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Abstract:

Uniquely for a country its size, Qatar has emerged as one of the world's most proactive mediators in recent years. Motivated by a combination of international prestige and survival strategies, the country has sought to position itself as a neutral peacemaker in many of the international and intra-national conflicts brewing across the Middle East region. In three of the most notable cases in which it has involved itself — Lebanon, Sudan, and Yemen — Qatar has proven itself to be a capable mediator in reducing tensions but not, crucially, in resolving conflicts. Qatar's successes have been facilitated by a combination of its perceived neutrality by the disputants, the vast financial resources at its disposal to host mediation talks and offer financial incentives for peace, and the personal commitment and involvement of the state's top leaders. These successes, however, are often checked by limited capabilities to affect long-term changes to the preferences of the disputants through power projection abilities, in-depth administrative and on-the-ground resources, and apparent underestimations of the complexities of the deep-rooted conflicts at hand. Qatari mediation efforts are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, but their outcomes are also likely to remain mixed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/65.4.11

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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