Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East: Council Special Report

Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East: Council Special Report

by F. Gregory Gause III
     
 

Saudi Arabia is one of the only countries in the Arab world that has not experienced a serious internal political crisis as a result of the region's recent unrest. The al-
Saud regime was able to maintain stability by, among other measures, raising government salaries and augmenting social welfare programs, adroitly deploying its well-trained security forces,

Overview

Saudi Arabia is one of the only countries in the Arab world that has not experienced a serious internal political crisis as a result of the region's recent unrest. The al-
Saud regime was able to maintain stability by, among other measures, raising government salaries and augmenting social welfare programs, adroitly deploying its well-trained security forces, and mobilizing a host of patronage networks —especially the religious establishment. The regime still faces challenges, however. Most notably, a succession crisis within the ruling royal family, a severe drop in oil prices, and high unemployment among the country's youth could threaten the regime's long-term stability.

This Council Special Report posits that, while the Arab Awakening has caused tensions in Saudi-American relations, the two countries do not face a crisis, as many analysts argue. Although Riyadh and Washington have often been at odds over how to respond to the unrest in the region, they still have significant mutual interests such as counterterrorism cooperation and balancing Iran. Accordingly, U.S. policymakers should prioritize these interests while recognizing that Saudi Arabia will not agree with American policy preferences on all issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780876095164
Publisher:
Council on Foreign Relations
Publication date:
12/23/2011
Pages:
56
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

F. Gregory Gause III is a professor and chair of the political science department at the University of Vermont. He is the author of The International Relations of the Persian Gulf (Cambridge, 2009).

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