The Kingdom

Saudi Arabia and the Challenge of the 21st Century

October 2009 9781850659020 256pp
October 2009 9781850658979 256pp
Out of print


The prominence of Saudi Arabia in international relations today is undisputed. Bringing together contributors from the worlds of business, politics, journalism and academia, The Kingdom provides a much-needed context to the role that Saudi Arabia plays today. In so doing, it unravels the contradictions and complexities of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the West. The Kingdom brings together a fascinating and diverse group of authors, including such established figures as Madawi Al-Rasheed, Khalid Al-Dakhil, Badriyyah Al-Bishr, Saad Sowayan and Mona Eltahawy. The chapters range widely in their subject matter, from reformism under King Abdullah to Saudi Arabia’s role as a regional power broker, thereby revealing the great breadth of issues preoccupying Saudis and others as they seek to build a modern state without compromising their powerful attachment to the religious, cultural and historical traditions which are the bedrock of Saudi society. The book is divided into four sections: Saudi domestic political issues, the Kingdom’s role in regional affairs, studies of Saudi society, and cultural and religious life in the Kingdom.


‘The Kingdom is unlike any other book on Saudi Arabia. A collection of fascinating essays by distinguished academics and newspapermen takes the reader on a journey through identity, society, and the politics of one of the world’s powerful surviving traditional monarchies. Wonderfully unconventional in places, the essays move the debate on Saudi Arabia away from the dry, laborious, and often impersonal political economy studies of recent years, allowing for a new understanding of this enigmatic state through a multi-faceted lens of literature, poetry, political theory, and very high quality journalism.’ — Dr Christopher Davidson, University of Durham

‘Although the contributors do not represent the entire spectrum of thinkers, the editors’ selection of Saudi opinion surpasses all other such compilations on the subject. The Kingdom presents readers with the condensed writings of credible analysts, while the introduction is concise, comprehensive and strikes a fine balance between intricate detail and broader ideas. Despite being compiled by outsiders, Huband and Craze’s book comes as close as can be to an insider’s perspective on Saudi Arabia.’ — Dr Saad Al-Fagih


Joshua Craze is attached to the British Institute of Eastern Africa and is a contributing writer at SaudiDebate.

Mark Huband is an award-winning journalist who was formerly Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times. He is the author of several books including Warriors Of The Prophet: The Struggle For Islam.

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