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The case of Doha, Qatar: interview with Peggy Levitt

Peggy Levitt explains the strategy of Doha as an aspiring global city

In this video, Peggy Levitt, from Wellesley College and Harvard University, describes the main pillars of Qatar’s master plan to create Arab cosmopolitan nationalists, with reference to her book ‘Artifacts and Allegiances’ published in 2015.

She explains the spectacular moves taken by the Qatari government, such as the construction of Education City concentrating numerous branches of American and European Universities, the organization of global sports events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup, or the establishment of world-class museums. She interprets these actions as a way to draw on Western culture while affirming a distinctive identity.

She also stresses the key role that migrants play in the implementation of these ambitious projects and points at various forms of inequality. She emphasizes the inequality of rights between nationals and migrants on one hand, but also tells about the inequality of treatment between high-skill professional labour migrants who work under very difficult conditions.

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