Visiting Doctoral Fellow
Javier is a PhD candidate at Georgia State University and holds an MA in Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies by the Autonomous University of Madrid. He is also a fellow at Project SEPAD (Lancaster University) and has previously been a guest researcher at the Nederlands-Vlaams Instituut in Cairo.
His research focuses on the historically changing relations between society, built environment and narratives of modernity in the Gulf. His dissertation deals specifically with the social, political, and urban dynamics taking place in Qatar during the Global Sixties. Javier has also written about Oman and the transformation of Greater Muscat during the reign of Sultan Qaboos.
How Dukhan made Doha. Environmental history, transnational networks, and the political economy of Qatar
‘How Dukhan made Doha’ is a social history of the events that led to the independence of Qatar and its aftermath, as well as a spatial history of the country during the Long Sixties. It argues that the present state of affairs in Qatar is mainly the product of the social context in the 1950s and 1960s, during the twilight of the British protectorate, and was further cemented in the 1970s.
The relationship between Dukhan, a coastal town where oil was first discovered in Qatar, and Doha, the capital, serves as a metaphor for the many modalities in which the country, its social fabric and its political economy changed during these decades. Some of the urban features examined include the oil camps of the 1950s, the political feuds and protests taking place in the 1960s, or the master plan for Doha in 1970.
While most studies of the Gulf focus on the role of the ruler and the government in directing these transformations, this project examines the activism and political-social engagement of Qataris themselves. The rapid transformations in the built environment and the documents produced by Qatari society, media and government serve as a source and as an object of study.
(in press) “Khaleeji modernities. Private spaces, British imperialism and the centralization of the Qatari peninsula,” in Rahman, Mizanur (ed.). Social Change in the Gulf Societies. London: Springer Nature, 2022
“The Omanization of Muscat or the Muscatization of Oman. How Muscat after 1970 came to embody the state of Sultan Qaboos,” in Fromherz, Allen and Al Salimi, Abdulrahman (eds.). Sultan Qaboos and Modern Oman 1970-2020. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2022, pp. 352-368
(with Ignacio Gutiérrez de Terán Gómez-Benita). “The United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. Anti-Islamism, Militarism, and Multiple Pressure Strategy,” Revista Española de Ciencia Política, No. 56 (July 2021), pp. 71-96. DOI: doi.org/10.21308/recp.56.03
The Gulf and the smart city movement in the Middle East. Gulf Insights, no. 37 (November 2020), Qatar University. Available online: www.qu.edu.qa/static_file/qu/research/Gulf%20Studies/documents/Gulf%20Insights%2037.pdf
(with Allen Fromherz) “The Secret of the Sheikhs. Why Are the Gulf Monarchies So Stable?’, Foreign Affairs, October 28, 2019. Available online: www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/persian-gulf/2019-10-28/secret-sheikhs