GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Title of Paper:
Bashing Qatar and Saudi Arabia
Paper Proposal Text :
My paper will focus on divergences and convergences in the policy assessments made in the USA, France, and the UK, concerning Qatar and the Saudi Kingdom. It will try to answer the questions many rise, such as: are the negative Western assessments of Saudi and Qatari policies based on facts or politically driven? Why on the official level, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are still courted and protected by the countries where such negative assessments are made? The important issues here are indeed about security, terrorism, counter-terrorism, etc… as many of those negative assessments concern mainly support and funding of terrorist and extremist groups throughout the world, and particularly in Africa and the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have signed the "Jeddah Communique", in September 2011. They agreed not just to counter the financing of ISIL and other violent extremists, but also to end impunity and bring perpetrators to justice. Both of them have representatives at the UN counter-terrorism committee, and have local organizations supposed to do the same job.
Yet, the literature charging them of duplicity and support to terrorism, is important.

Several Western studies addressing these issues, were produced by think tanks in the USA, UK, and France… Some independent, some working directly or indirectly with governments, intelligence organs, and international organisms. Western Media also have largely contributed to reflecting negative images of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as publishing houses. If not of all this production is biased, or participating to a « bashing campaign » as it is often alleged in Doha and Riyadh, something remains that should be analysed and commented.

On the other hand, it is impossible that officials in Western countries are not aware of it. But we will show in this paper how some Western institutions and personalities (VIPs) take advantage of Qatar and Saudi money and need for protection… The question is then: does money make them silent? Does it make them talkative? What is the effect of Saudi and Qatari "investments" or "rewards" and other promises and moneyed incentives on the discursive production (assessments and positions) concerned with the policies of both countries? Are Western think tanks still producing scientific research, about these countries, when their receive their funding support?

Allies and enemies at the same time

The divergences and convergences of policies and discourses may be detected and analyzed particularly with examples in the Middle East: the crises of Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, etc…all show to what point Saudi Arabia-Qatar and the Western democracies may be allies and enemies at the same time. The paper will analyse the official positions and compare them, while trying to follow the views of major think tanks and pundits.

I will rely largely on primary sources. I have been working on this topic since four years, producing a yearly confidential report about it. I intend to show the inconsistencies of discourse and behavior on both sides: the Western and the Gulf.