Saudi Arabia: Reading / Resources
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A Saudi woman and her son walk past the Imam Muhammad ibn Abdel-Wahhab Philanthropic School for Women's Quranic Studies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 21, 2003. AP Photo Occasional Paper, Combating Terrorism Center February 25, 2010 Author: Thomas Hegghammer , Former Associate, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2009–2010; Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2009
Saudi Arabia is a wealthy and powerful country which wields influence in the West and across the Islamic world. Yet it remains a closed society. Its history in the twentieth century is dominated by the story of state formation.
America is now engaged in the 10th year of war in Islamic countries, and there is no end in sight. A realistic understanding of the very heartland of the Islamic world is essential for the political leadership in our country - the decision makers - and it is equally important for the academics and "think tank" specialists who provide the advise and "policy papers." This book is not for the casual readership of the general public, but it would be inspiring if a few "enlightened citizens," in the best Jeffersonian ideal, would tackle it, simply to be better informed on one of the central issues of our times.
Oil and water, and the science and technology used to harness them, have long been at the heart of political authority in Saudi Arabia. Oil’s abundance, and the fantastic wealth it generated, has been a keystone in the political primacy of the kingdom’s ruling family. The other bedrock element was water, whose importance was measured by its dearth. Over much of the twentieth century, it was through efforts to control and manage oil and water that the modern state of Saudi Arabia emerged. The central government’s power over water, space, and people expanded steadily over time, enabled by increasing oil revenues.
Toby C. Jones
In Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats , the most thorough treatment of the political economy of Saudi Arabia to date, Steffen Hertog uncovers an untold history of how the elite rivalries and whims of half a century ago have shaped today's Saudi state and are reflected in its policies. Starting in the late 1990s, Saudi Arabia embarked on an ambitious reform campaign to remedy its long-term economic stagnation. The results have been puzzling for both area specialists and political economists: Saudi institutions have not failed across the board, as theorists of the "rentier state" would predict, nor have they achieved the all-encompassing modernization the regime has touted.
The following references are sourced from LSE Research Online | . References that are linked lead to the full text. Luciani, Giacomo and Valeri, Marc and Hertog, Steffen, (eds.) (2013) Business politics in the Middle East.
Former Associate, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2009–2010; Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2009 Experience Former Associate, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2009–2010; Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2009
" America's Kingdom comes as a pleasant surprise... a scholarly and readable book on the interaction between Saudi society and Aramco, the US oil giant that had its beginnings when the Saudi government granted its first concessions to Standard Oil of California in 1933. Combining history with political anthropology, Vitalis sheds a bright light on the origins and less savory aspects of the Saudi-US relationship.
Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil . New York: Verso, 2011. Toby Craig Jones, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010.
Amidst the roil of war and instability across the Middle East, the West is still searching for ways to understand the Islamic world. Stéphane Lacroix has now given us a penetrating look at the political dynamics of Saudi Arabia, one of the most opaque of Muslim countries and the place that gave birth to Osama bin Laden. The result is a history that has never been told before.
Awakening Islam Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia Stephane Lacroix Awakening Islam Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia , Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University press, 2011 , £22.95 ISBN: 978-0-674-04964-2, 328 pages, 1 map The surge in Arab revolutions since January 2011 has surprised many scholars and policy makers for one reason. The revolt is not currently orchestrated by the much studied Islamists. Since the 1970s, Western academics preferred to see the Arab world through the prism of Islam, which has become the constant variable that explained everything- stagnation, resistance to democracy, oppression of women, discrimination against minorities, and recently terrorism.
téphane Lacroix is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po. In 2008-2009, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University. His work focuses on Islam and politics in the contemporary Middle East, with a particular interest in the Gulf region. He has published articles in some of the major academic journals in the field of Middle East studies, including the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and the Middle East Journal.
debating the 'Rentier state'