The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia
A timely look at the personalities and factions contending for power in Riyadh as one princely order crumbles and another asserts itself.
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.
Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre, London School of Economics. In 2016, she was Visiting Research Professor at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore. She is the author of several books on Saudi Arabia. Her latest, Muted Modernists: The Struggle Over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia, was published by Hurst in 2015.
‘A valuable report card. This is a story as gripping as any game of thrones.’ — Financial Times
‘In this meticulously edited volume, Madawi Al-Rasheed solidifies her reputation as the leading scholar on Saudi Arabia. Comprehensive in its scope, nuanced in its interpretation, with a plethora of fresh historical and political insights—no serious student of contemporary Saudi Arabia can afford to ignore this book.’ — Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver
‘Salman’s Legacy offers a timely and extremely relevant look at a kingdom in flux. The contributors shed valuable light on the country that Mohammed bin Salman looks set to rule for decades to come. This volume assesses and contextualizes the accelerated pace of change in Saudi Arabia, where an old order is giving way rapidly to a new but uncertain future.’ — Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, author of Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era and Qatar and the Arab Spring
‘A timely intervention into some of the major debates concerning Saudi Arabia in the twenty-first century. Offering a wealth of new insight, the contributors depict a Saudi Arabia that is more complex, diverse, and globally central than much of the scholarship so often claims. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary regional landscape.’ — Rosie Bsheer, Assistant Professor of History, Harvard University, co-editor of The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order?