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. Instead, the kingdom has witnessed a bewildering mélange of thorough failures and surprising successes. Hertog argues that it is traits peculiar to the Saudi state that make sense of its uneven capacities. Oil rents since World War II have shaped Saudi state institutions in ways that are far from uniform. Oil money has given regime elites unusual leeway for various institutional experiments in different parts of the state: in some cases creating massive rent-seeking networks deeply interwoven with local society; in others large but passive bureaucracies; in yet others insulated islands of remarkable efficiency. This process has fragmented the Saudi state into an uncoordinated set of vertically divided fiefdoms. Case studies of foreign investment reform, labor market nationalization and WTO accession reveal how this oil-funded apparatus enables swift and successful policy-making in some policy areas, but produces coordination and regulation failures in others.
In Oil, the State, and War, Emma Ashford explores the many potential links between domestic oil production and foreign policy behavior. By examining the behaviors of three types of petrostates–oil-dependent states, oil-wealthy states, and super-producers–Ashford sheds light on the diversity of petrostates and how they shape international affairs.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia began his rule in 2015 confronted with a series of unprecedented challenges. The dilemmas he has faced are new and significant, from leadership shuffles and falling oil prices to regional and international upheaval. Salman's Legacy interrogates this era and assesses its multiple social, political, regional and international challenges. Whether Salman's policies have saved the kingdom from serious upheaval is yet to be seen, but no doubt a new kingdom is emerging. This book offers historical and contemporary insights into the various problems that persist in haunting the Saudi state. Madawi Al-Rasheed brings together well-established historians and social scientists with deep knowledge of Saudi Arabia--its history, culture and contemporary politics--to reflect on Salman's kingdom. They trace both policy continuities and recent ruptures that have perplexed observers of Saudi Arabia. This lucid and nuanced analysis invites serious reflection on the Saudi leadership's capacity to withstand the recent challenges, especially those that came with the Arab uprisings. At stake is the future of a country that remains vital to regional stability, international security, and the global economy.
'Clear-eyed and illuminating.' Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor 'A rich, superbly researched, balanced history of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.' General David Petraeus, former Commander U.S. Central Command and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 'Destined to be the best single volume on the Kingdom.' Ambassador Chas Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of Defense 'Should be prescribed reading for a new generation of political leaders.' Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of H.M. Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Something extraordinary is happening in Saudi Arabia. A traditional, tribal society once known for its lack of tolerance is rapidly implementing significant economic and social reforms. An army of foreign consultants is rewriting the social contract, King Salman has cracked down hard on corruption, and his dynamic though inexperienced son, the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is promoting a more tolerant Islam. But is all this a new vision for Saudi Arabia or merely a mirage likely to dissolve into Iranian-style revolution? David Rundell - one of America's foremost experts on Saudi Arabia - explains how the country has been stable for so long, why it is less so today, and what is most likely to happen in the future. The book is based on the author's close contacts and intimate knowledge of the country where he spent 15 years living and working as a diplomat. Vision or Mirage demystifies one of the most powerful, but least understood, states in the Middle East and is essential reading for anyone interested in the power dynamics and politics of the Arab World.
Why do tribal genealogies matter in modern-day Saudi Arabia? What compels the strivers and climbers of the new Saudi Arabia to want to prove their authentic descent from one or another prestigious Arabian tribe? Of Sand or Soil looks at how genealogy and tribal belonging have informed the lives of past and present inhabitants of Saudi Arabia and how the Saudi government's tacit glorification of tribal origins has shaped the powerful development of the kingdom’s genealogical culture. Nadav Samin presents the first extended biographical exploration of the major twentieth-century Saudi scholar Ḥamad al-Jāsir, whose genealogical studies frame the story about belonging and identity in the modern kingdom. Samin examines the interplay between al-Jāsir’s genealogical project and his many hundreds of petitioners, mostly Saudis of nontribal or lower status origin who sought validation of their tribal roots in his genealogical texts. Investigating the Saudi relationship to this opaque, orally inscribed historical tradition, Samin considers the consequences of modern Saudi genealogical politics and how the most intimate anxieties of nontribal Saudis today are amplified by the governing strategies and kinship ideology of the Saudi state. Challenging the impression that Saudi culture is determined by puritanical religiosity or rentier economic principles, Of Sand or Soil shows how the exploration and establishment of tribal genealogies have become influential phenomena in contemporary Saudi society. Beyond Saudi Arabia, this book casts important new light on the interplay between kinship ideas, oral narrative, and state formation in rapidly changing societies.
The 2011 Arab uprisings and their subsequent aftermath have thrown into question some of our long-held assumptions about the foundational aspects of the Arab state. While the regional and international consequences of the uprisings continue to unfold with great unpredictability, their ramifications for the internal lives of the states in which they unfolded are just as dramatic and consequential. States historically viewed as models of strength and stability have been shaken to their foundations. Borders thought impenetrable have collapsed; sovereignty and territoriality have been in flux. This book examines some of the central questions facing observers and scholars of the Middle East concerning the nature of power and politics before and after 2011 in the Arab world. The focus of the book revolves around the very nature of politics and the exercise of power in the Arab world, conceptions of the state, its functions and institutions, its sources of legitimacy, and basic notions underlying it such as sovereignty and nationalism. Inside the Arab State adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, examining a broad range of political, economic, and social variables. It begins with an examination of politics, and more specifically political institutions, in the Arab world from the 1950s on, tracing the travail of states, and the wounds they inflicted on society and on themselves along the way, until the eruption of the 2011 uprisings. The uprisings, the states' responses to them, and efforts by political leaders to carve out for themselves means of legitimacy are also discussed, as are the reasons for the emergence and rise of Daesh and the Islamic State. Power, I argue, and increasingly narrow conceptions of it in terms of submission and conformity, remains at the heart of Arab politics, popular protests and yearnings for change notwithstanding. Much has changed in the Arab world over the last several decades. But even more has stayed the same.
The Gulf monarchies—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates—play crucial roles in world markets and politics. Their economies, which have traditionally been driven by oil revenues, have simultaneously propelled transformative change and preserved the traditional order. Fossil fuel wealth has underwritten an implicit social contract characterized by generous welfare states, ruler-centric politics, and a heavy state presence in the economy, facilitating stability during tumultuous times. However, as the transition toward renewable energy looms, will the Gulf monarchies be able to adapt? David B. Roberts offers a definitive guide to continuity and change in the Gulf region. He explores the forces challenging and bolstering the status quo across the political, social, economic, military, and environmental dimensions of security. Roberts examines the six monarchies individually and holistically, considering their recent histories and contemporary concerns. Beneath wide-ranging changes affecting these countries, he pinpoints key dynamics and structures that have persisted over the long term. The book examines key topics such as generational change in leadership, migrant workers, female labor force participation, U.S. military influence, and the multifaceted threat of climate change. Roberts scrutinizes how a move away from the oil-centered economic model could reverberate across the social spectrum, with profound implications for security. Suitable for a range of courses and offering important new insights for experts, this book is an accessible and up-to-date overview of the politics of a key world region.
"This book is a generational stocktaking over the contemporary state of political science research on the Middle East and North Africa. It presents the major theoretical developments that have unfolded since the Arab uprisings in 2011-12, while highlighting the critical knowledge and fruitful literatures that regional experts have contributed back to mainstream political science. It features nearly 50 regional specialists, whose twelve chapters tackle the prevailing themes that gird the contemporary study of Middle East politics. Among the many topics touched upon are authoritarianism and democracy, contentious politics, international relations, regional security, military institutions, conflict and violence, political economy, economic development, religion, Islamist movements, social identity, sectarian politics, public opinion, migration and refugees, and local politics and governance. Each chapter reviews key debates and pathbreaking findings, while presenting highly curated references that illustrate the breadth and depth of ongoing research agendas"--
What does liberal order actually amount to outside the West, where it has been most institutionalised? Contrary to the Atlantic or Pacific, liberal hegemony is thin in the Indian Ocean World; there are no equivalents of NATO, the EU or the US-Japan defence relationship. Yet what this book calls the 'Global Indian Ocean' was the beating heart of earlier epochs of globalisation, where experiments in international order, market integration and cosmopolitanisms were pioneered. Moreover, it is in this macro-region that today's challenges will face their defining hour: climate change, pandemics, and the geopolitical contest pitting China and Pakistan against the USA and India. The Global Indian Ocean states represent the greatest range of political systems and ideologies in any region, from Hindu-nationalist India and nascent democracy in Indonesia and South Africa, to the Gulf's mixture of tribal monarchy and high modernism. These essays by leading scholars examine key aspects of political order, and their roots in the colonial and pre-colonial past, through the lenses of state-building, nationalism, international security, religious identity and economic development. The emergent lessons are of great importance for the world, as the 'global' liberal order fades and new alternatives struggle to be born.
In this groundbreaking book Kent E. Calder argues that a new transnational configuration is emerging in Asia, driven by economic growth, rising energy demand, and the erosion of longstanding geopolitical divisions. What Calder calls the New Silk Road—with a strengthening multi-faceted relationship between East Asia and the Middle East at its core—could eventually emerge as one of the world’s most important multilateral configurations. Straddling the border between comparative politics and international relations theory, this important book will stimulate debate and discussion in both fields.
The "Resource Curse" in the Persian Gulf systematically address the little studied notion of a "resource curse" in relation to the Persian Gulf by examining the historical causes and genesis of the phenomenon and its consequences in a variety of areas, including human development, infrastructural growth, clientelism, state-building and institutional evolution, and societal and gender relations. The book explores how across the Arabian Peninsula, oil wealth began accruing to the state at a particular juncture in the state-building process, when traditional, largely informal patterns of shaikhly rule were relatively well established, but the formal institutional apparatuses of the state were not yet fully formed. The chapters show that oil wealth had a direct impact on subsequent developments in these two complementary areas. Contributors discuss how on one hand, the distribution of petrodollars enabled political elites to solidify existing patterns of rule through deepening clientelist practices and by establishing new, dependent clients; and how on the other, rent revenues gave state leaders the opportunity to establish and shape institutions in ways that solidified their political control. The "Resource Curse" in the Persian Gulf will be of great interest to scholars of Middle Eastern studies, focusing on a variety of subject areas, including human development, human resources, clientelism, infrastructural growth, institutional evolution, state-building, and societal and gender relations. This book was originally published as a special issue in the Journal of Arabian Studies.
Rising Powers and State Transformation advances the concept of ‘state transformation’ as a useful lens through which to examine rising power states’ foreign policymaking and implementation, with chapters dedicated to China, Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The volume breaks with the prevalent tendency in International Relations (IR) scholarship to treat rising powers as unitary actors in international politics. Although a neat demarcation of the domestic and international domains, on which the notion of unitary agency is premised, has always been a myth, these states’ uneven integration into the global political economy has eroded this perspective’s empirical purchase considerably. Instead, this volume employs the concept of ‘state transformation’ as a lens through which to examine rising power states’ foreign policymaking and implementation. State transformation refers to the pluralisation of cross-border state agency via contested and uneven processes of fragmentation, decentralisation and internationalisation of state apparatuses. The volume demonstrates the significance of state transformation processes for explaining some of these states’ key foreign policy agendas, and outlines the implications for the wider field in IR. With chapters dedicated to all of today’s most important rising power states, Rising Powers and State Transformation will be of great interest to scholars of IR, international politics and foreign policy. The chapters were originally published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.