Saudi Arabia : Power, Legitimacy and Survival book cover
1st Edition

Saudi Arabia
Power, Legitimacy and Survival

ISBN 9780415303101
Published April 12, 2006 by Routledge
228 Pages

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Book Description

Saudi Arabia provides a clear, concise yet analytical account of the development of the Saudi state. It details the country’s historical and religious background, its oil rentier economy and its international role, showing how they interact to create the dynamics of the contemporary Saudi state.

The development of the state is traced through three stages: the formative period prior to 1962; the centralization of the state and the initiation of intensive economic development between 1962 and 1979; and the re-shaping of the state over the years since 1979. Emphasis is placed on the recent period, with chapters devoted to:

  • the economic and foreign policy problems which now confront the state
  • the linkages between Saudi Arabia and Islamic radicalism, with the relationship/conflicts involving Al Qaeda traced through from events in Afghanistan in the 1980s
  • the impact of 9/11 and the 2003 Gulf War
  • the identification of major problems facing the contemporary state and their solutions.

Saudi Arabia provides a unique and comprehensive understanding of this state during a crucial time. This book is essential reading for those with interests in Saudi Arabia and its role in Middle Eastern politics and on the international stage.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Traditional Dynamics and the Changing Domestic and International Environments  3. Faisal and the New Polity, 1962-1979  4. Redirecting the Polity: 1979 to Present  5. The Challenge of Economic Reform  6. Foreign Policy: Dilemmas of the Alliance with the US and the Challenge of International Terrorism.  Conclusion: Crisis, Reform and Stability.  Bibliographical Survey of Relevant Literature 

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Tim Niblock


'An in-depth analysis of the dynamics shaping political developments in Saudi Arabia.' - The International Spectator

'This is a very concise yet comprehensive work on modern politics in Saudi Arabia. It has important implications for the study of regional and comparative politics. Niblock does an excellent job of discussing the economic, political and social bases for the contemporary Saudi state...Niblock's work is useful for scholars studying Middle East as well as those studying developing world in general. It will be especially useful for those scholars studying political development and the effects of reform on political legitimacy' - John P. Miglietta, Tennessee State University, International Journal of Middle East Studies