Robert Mason
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Politics in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia
State formation, political consolidation and reform
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This chapter sets the tone for further discussion on Saudi foreign policy by reflecting on Saudi statehood, survival and regional relations in historical context. It then moves on to assess contemporary transitions affecting sectarianism, secularism and liberalism. This is followed by coverage on dissent and repression and the ‘anti-corruption drive’ in the kingdom, encompassing the Ritz Carlton episode in 2017. The chapter then turns to the Saudi economy, role of sovereign wealth funds and climate change policies within that, and defence and national security issues, including counterterrorism issues. The conclusion analyses which domestic factors are likely to have a major bearing on Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy and international relations well into the twenty-first century.

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Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Foreign policy and strategic alliances in an uncertain world

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