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Saudi Arabia Enters the Twenty-First Century: The Political, Foreign Policy, Economic, and Energy Dimensions
     

Saudi Arabia Enters the Twenty-First Century: The Political, Foreign Policy, Economic, and Energy Dimensions

by Anthony H. Cordesman
 

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As the world carefully monitors tensions in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia increasingly finds itself the center of political scrutiny in both its internal and external relations. With its military capabilities largely dependent upon the United States and other Western forces, Saudi Arabia cannot concentrate on internal change at the expense of external security.

Overview

As the world carefully monitors tensions in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia increasingly finds itself the center of political scrutiny in both its internal and external relations. With its military capabilities largely dependent upon the United States and other Western forces, Saudi Arabia cannot concentrate on internal change at the expense of external security. This study looks beyond a narrow definition of political stability to examine the implications of Saudi Arabia's changes in external relations with Iran and Iraq, as well as its cooperation with the other Southern Gulf States. Cordesman explores the issue of succession in the Royal Family, the immediate political probabilities, and the generational changes that are occurring.

Growing uncertainties in the world energy market continue to impact nearly every facet of the Saudi economy. Saudi Arabia faces ongoing demographic problems, as well as a need to diversify and restructure its economy. The Kingdom must find a way to adapt its traditional culture, religious customs, education, and political structure to the needs of a modern nation. Such change will come neither quickly nor easily. And with King Fahd's health in question and Crown Prince Abdullah already in his mid-seventies, major questions remain as to how the regime's future will ultimately affect the delicate balance in the entire region.

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Given its heft, this work will likely become a reference to be consulted, not a book to be read. As such, it is a splendid resource, providing the comprehensive coverage suggested by its subtitle. A chapter on Saudi foreign relations includes summary descriptions of Saudi ties to its neighboring states, the United States, and several others. Another describes the Saudi political system. There is even a chapter offering a detailed narrative account of the Islamist opposition to the Saudi state. Most of this big book, however, treats the basic social and economic institutions and issues that define Saudi Arabia today, ranging from education to privatization to the petroleum sector and beyond. An awesome number of charts and tables usefully compare Saudi standings with other countries. This text is more than a handbook. In it, Cordesman presents to the reader a Saudi government with many problems and a mixed record that is nevertheless more stable and more effective than present-day critics believe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275979980
Publisher:
Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/30/2003
Pages:
608
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a military analyst for ABC News. A frequent commentator on National Public Radio, he is the author of numerous books on security issues and has served in a number of senior positions in the US government.

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