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Isolating Qatar: The Gulf Rift, 2017–2021

Edward A. Lynch
Isolating Qatar: The Gulf Rift, 2017–2021
ISBN: 978-1-955055-15-4
ISBN: 978-1-955055-48-2
2022/219 pages/LC: 2021058512
"Well-argued analysis of the reasons that led Qatar to successfully weather the storm of the Gulf blockage.... Lynch’s book represents a key resource to understanding the Gulf rift as well as its future repercussions." —Marc Martorell Junyent, The New Arab

"Amid a plethora of recent publications on Qatar, this book stands out for its depth, insight, and thorough analysis of a defining diplomatic development that rocked the Gulf Cooperation Council.... Highly recommended." —Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University Qatar


In June 2017, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE announced a comprehensive boycott of Qatar. Diplomatic ties were severed, trade was banned, and airspace was closed. Qatari nationals were expelled from all four countries. It seemed that disaster loomed for this small Gulf nation. But not so. Instead, in an unexpected turn of events, the Qatari government deftly used its enormous wealth and extensive reserves of soft power to nullify most of the effects of what came to be known as the Rift.
Edward Lynch tells the story of the Gulf Rift from start to finish. Exploring the historical and contemporary causes of the dispute, the reactions to it both regionally and globally, and the surprising end to the crisis, his work serves also to highlight the often unrecognized role of small states in international relations.


Edward A. Lynch is professor of political science at Hollins University.


  • Qatar and the Gulf Rift: Small States in the International System.
  • The Making of Modern Qatar.
  • The Emergence of a Regional Player.
  • Al Jazeera and Qatari Soft Power.
  • The Boycott Begins.
  • Qatar Responds.
  • The World Reacts.
  • The End of the Rift.
  • How Did Qatar Prevail?