Seeing security : societal securitization in Qatar
Heeg, Jennifer Carol.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This dissertation applies securitization theory to Qatari society, and develops a new regime type, the "laissez faire autocracy." Qatari society is securitized against the constructed threats of Western influence and South Asian migrant labor. Four advances to securitization theory are made in this non-Western, non-democratic context. First, this project deconstructs Western-centric notions of "strong" and "weak" states in the context of securitization. Second, securitization theory's privileging of the speech-act is subsumed into a larger discussion of action, because in states without full freedom of speech, actions often do speak louder than words. Third, the case study is an example of institutionalized securitization, because rigid ethnic/tribal conceptions of "Qatari society" have led to a politics of exclusion with regards to migration and outside influence. Fourth and finally, securitization theory's focus on decision-making and audience is called into question; the power of decision-making is purposely vague in a laissez faire autocracy, and securitization is highly intersubjective. At a policy level, an understanding of society in Qatar as securitized, and informing the perceptions of migrant labor and Western ideas as the major security threats in the Gulf region, should inform policy alternatives for Gulf states and Western democracies.
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