Qatar, a backwater state in regional and international politics until 1995, has in recent years pursued a high-profile foreign policy in the areas of dispute mediations, maintaining balanced relations with allies and adversaries alike, adept use of soft power tools, and even military interventions in fellow Arab states, Libya in particular, to aid the Arab pro-democracy forces. This high-profile foreign policy has aimed at strengthening Qatar's national security in the Gulf neighbourhood and playing a more proactive role in the Arab world. This article examines Qatar's activist foreign policy role in the Arab Spring and probes whether such a role is sustainable in future in view of the constraints Qatar faces at home, in the Gulf neighbourhood and beyond. It concludes that Qatar, as a tiny state, has little choice other than to strike a balance between its oversized foreign policy role and the imperatives of regional and international realities.

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