Policy-Making in a Transformative State

pp 347-365


Qatar’s Global-Local Nexus: From Soft to Nested Power?

  • Abdulaziz Al HorrAffiliated withQatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA)
  • , Ghalia Al ThaniAffiliated withInternational Cooperation Department, National Human Rights Committee of Qatar
  • , M. Evren TokAffiliated withPublic Policy in Islam Program, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hamad bin Khalifa University
  • , Hany BesadaAffiliated withAfrican Mineral Development Centre (AMDC), United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in AfricaEconomic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in AfricaInstitute of African Studies, Carleton UniversityCentre on Governance, University of Ottawa
  • , Ben O’BrightAffiliated withCentre on Governance, University of Ottawa
  • , Jason McSparrenAffiliated withGlobal Governance & Human Security McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Governance University of Massachusetts


This chapter proposes that the existing literature and discussions pertaining to Qatar’s international visibility, impact, and image fail to take into consideration the “nested” nature of its power. In this chapter, we define “nested power” and use it as a calculated approach to international relations, using multiple levels of interactions. The nature of nested power refers to the ability of a state to use various tools and resources, at the domestic, regional, and international levels, in order to manipulate them for the desired effect. The state is able to act in a multi-dimensional manner that allows it to be defined in various ways, having strongholds and influence in various industries and among different alliances, which all contribute to its foreign policy agenda. In this sense, how does nested power operate? Although it seems that Qatar’s nested power approach is well orchestrated by the existing leadership, the question remains, is this approach a systematic one? Does it cascade down to second and third generations of potential political leaders? Is there any link between Qatar’s nested power practice and the National Vision? Is there a plan for sustainability? Is this practice of nested power a high or a low maintenance approach? What are the limitations? What are the constraints?