Cultural diplomacy in Qatar: between ‘virtual enlargement’, national identity construction and elite legitimation

Kristin A. Eggeling

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper analyses how the government of Qatar has over the last years used practices of cultural diplomacy to enhance its standing abroad, and consolidate its legitimacy at home. Looking in particular at key initiatives of international collaboration of the Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums, I argue that the Qatari government strategically uses cultural diplomacy to first produce and then disseminate an elite identity narrative of Qatar being a cohesive, future-oriented and rightfully engaged player in international affairs both inside and outside the state. To develop this argument, the analysis builds on observation during fieldwork in Doha between 2015 and 2016, and is enriched by a textual analysis of primary and secondary sources. As a timely contribution, the paper moreover shows that even in the light of considerable economic downturn, where budgets are cut and state-projects downsized, official narratives about Qatar’s global cultural ambitions have so far remained largely unchanged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-731
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number6
Early online date28 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Qatar
  • Cultural diplomacy
  • Virtual enlargement
  • National identity
  • Legitimation


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