Want to know what millions of dollars from Middle Eastern, among other, governments will buy? How about misplaced loyalty, self-censorship, and propaganda? The New York Times explores this question as it pertains to think tanks, but what about academia? The article touches on the conflict of interest involved in Qatari funding for the Brookings Institute, but the same could be said for Saudi and Gulf state funding of Middle East studies. NGO-Monitor president Gerald Steinberg, quoted in the Algemeiner, sums up the conundrum:
Steinberg said that such issues "…have to be addressed just like funding for academic programs that specialize in the Middle East and are funded by Saudi Arabia, or another oil-rich countries; all are problematic because they inevitably have the spin the donor puts on them."