Middle East, Gulf

The Gulf’s heavy-hitters refine the definition of ‘soft power’


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Issue 1184 - 12 Feb 2024 | 8 minute read

None of the Gulf’s emerging ´middle powers’ have issued a detailed policy document setting out their approach to projecting soft power, even as they continue to spend extravagantly while drawing in investment and talent. Autocracies have no real need to orchestrate the sort of public debate that might follow, even if they regularly sound out local opinion via traditional diwans or more modern polling techniques — not to mention ever more pervasive surveillance of their citizens and others’ communications.

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