A History of Saudi Arabia / Edition 2

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This updated edition analyses the challenges, both internal and external, facing Saudi Arabia in the twenty-first century. Two new chapters discuss the political, economic and social developments in the aftermath of 9/11, painting a vivid picture of a country shocked by terrorism and condemned by the international community. Madawi Al-Rasheed reveals that fragmentation of royal politics, a failing economy and fermenting Islamist dissent posed serious threats to state and society in 2001. She assesses the consequent state reforms introduced under pressure of terrorism, international scrutiny and a social mobilisation of men, women and minorities struggling to shape their future against a background of repression and authoritarian rule. While Saudi Arabia is still far from establishing a fourth state, there are signs that the people are ready for a serious change that will lead them to a state of institutions rather than princes.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
An anthropologist, Al-Rasheed has relied on the many Arabic and Western studies available to offer this up-to-date study of Saudi Arabia. Her account steers clear of both the overly heroic and the overly hostile. She brings out well the close Saudi ties from earliest days, first with the United Kingdom and then America. She treats Ibn Saud's matrimonial politics and what might be dubbed the "Arabian style" of leadership used by him and his successors while paying attention to the regional distinctions within Saudi Arabia and the situation of the Shi'a minority concentrated in the oil-producing eastern region. There is also a good description of the dynasty's religious extremists who were crushed in the 1920s (but whose ideological heirs thrive today), but she offers only a single reference to Osama bin Laden. A concluding chapter treats the writings, speeches, and celebrations that figure in the Saudi effort to create a favorable image and the counternarratives of Saudi dissidents.
Al-Rasheed (U. of London) traces Saudi Arabia's society and politics from the 18th century to Saudi responses to the Gulf War; distinguishes official historiography from counter-narratives; and argues that Saudi Arabia differs from other Arab nations in that its formation was not wholly shaped by nationalistic or independence rhetoric. Includes a chronology, maps, illustrations, glossary, and royal genealogies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521761284
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Madawi Al-Rasheed is Professor of Anthropology of Religion at King's College, London. She specialises in Saudi history, politics, religion and society. Her recent publications include Contesting the Saudi State (2007) and Kingdom without Borders (2008).
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of tables



Map 1 Saudi Arabia, main regions and cities

Map 2 Saudi Arabia, main tribes

Introduction 1

1 Society and politics, 1744-1818 and 1824-1891 13

2 The emerging state, 1902-1932 37

3 Control and loyalty, 1932-1953 69

4 The politics of dissent, 1953-1973 102

5 From affluence to austerity, 1973-1990 130

6 The Gulf War and its aftermath, 1990-2000 158

7 Narratives of the state, narratives of the people 182

8 The challenges of a new era 211

9 Modernising authoritarian rule 242

Conclusion 275

App. I Al Sa'ud rulers in Dir'iyyah (1744-1818) 278

App. II Al Sa'ud rulers in Riyadh (1824-1891) 279

App. III Ibn Sa'ud's sons (1900-1953) 280

Notes 281

Bibliography 291

Index 306

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