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A Modern History

What role does Qatar play in the Middle East and how does it differ from the other Gulf states? How has the ruling Al-Thani family shaped Qatar from a traditional tribal society and British protectorate to a modern state? How has Qatar become an economic superpower with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world? What are the social, political, and economic consequences of Qatar's extremely rapid development?

In this groundbreaking history of modern Qatar, Allen J. Fromherz presents a full portrait that analyzes Qatar's crucial role in the Middle East and its growing regional influence within a broader historical context. Drawing on original sources in Arabic, English, and French as well as his own fieldwork in the Middle East, the author deftly traces the influence of the Ottoman and British empires and Qatar's Gulf neighbors on the country prior to Qatar's meteoric rise in the post-independence era.

Fromherz gives particular weight to the nation's economic and social history, from its modest origins in the pearling and fishing industries to the considerable economic clout it exerts today, a clout that comes with having the second-highest natural gas reserves in the region. He also looks at what the future holds for Qatar's economy as the country tries to diversify beyond oil and gas. Furthermore, the book examines the paradox of Qatar where monarchy, traditional tribal culture, and conservative Islamic values appear to coexist with ultra modern development and a large population of foreign workers who outnumber Qatari citizens.

This book is as unique as the country it documents—a multi-faceted picture of the political, cultural, religious, social, and economic make up of modern Qatar and its significance within the Gulf Cooperation Council and the wider region.

About the Author

Allen J. Fromherz is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University. He is the author of The Almohads: The Rise of an Islamic Empire and Ibn Khaldun: Life and Times.


"The book offers a rich collection of data on a country that is still little known but which has carved out a central role in the contemporary Arab world for itself."—Oasis International Foundation

"A welcome and foundational contribution to our understanding of Qatar's modern history, our understanding of the contours of khaleeji authoritarianism, and our apprehension of the role that tribes and tribalism play in the political arena of contemporary Qatar. The book's accessibility and clarity are a welcome bonus."—International Journal of Middle East Studies

"Fills a gap in the academic literature as it provides an up-to-date account of the making of Qatar, while also underlining the continuities and changes in the country's power structure configuration."—Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs


"Allen Fromherz has written an excellent book on Qatar based on a thorough knowledge of historical sources, and enriched by his own experience in the country. This book will be essential reading to anyone interested in Qatar and useful to anyone interested more broadly in the dynamics of the Arab Gulf states."—Jill Crystal, professor of political science, Auburn University, and author of Oil and Politics in the Gulf: Rulers and Merchants of Kuwait and Qatar

"Qatar: A Modern History fills a major gap as it provides for the first time the necessary historical basis for understanding this Gulf state in all of its contradictions and importance."—G. R. Garthwaite, Jane & Raphael Bernstein Professor Emeritus in Asian Studies and professor emeritus of history, Dartmouth College

9781589019102 : qatar-fromherz
224 Pages
$34.95 USD
9781626164901 : qatar-fromherz
Electronic book text
226 Pages
$29.95 USD

Other Titles by Allen J. Fromherz

Qatar, Updated Edition

Allen J. Fromherz
Jun 2017 - Georgetown University Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

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Jan 2018 - Georgetown University Press
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