Saudi Arabia: Government, Society, and the Gulf Crisis
Saudi Arabia's enormous oil wealth has facilitated the kingdom's rapid modernisation and produced a relatively prosperous, predominantly urban population. A new middle class created by Saudi development and the improved education system has opted to co-operate with the current regime, yet wishes to participate in decision-making and accelerate the kingdom's reform. Oil revenue has also helped to preserve Saudi stability and to win it a position of influence in the Arab and international communities.
Mordechai Abir's book charts the development of Saudi social and political structures. It examines the changes in the kingdom in the 198Os following an economic recession and the rise of militant fundamentalism. It also discusses the effects on Saudi Arabia of the Iran-Iraq war, power politics and the oil market. It analyses the background and ramifications of the Iraq-Kuwait crisis and the 'neo-fundamentalist' backlash caused by the US military presence in the kingdom. Following Iraq's defeat, the oil factor and the nature of Gulf defence are examined in the light of Saddam Hussayn's effort to rehabilitate his military capability, and the re-emergence of Iran's influence in the Gulf and US-Saudi relations.
Saudi Arabia: Government, Society and the Gulf Crisis should be of use to all students studying the Middle East and to all those wishing to understand the complex nature of Saudi society.
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