Whither Saudi Arabia?
The article examines the foundational elements of the Saudi state: idea, governing institutions and physical basis. The author notes that its supranational ideas will be challenged by ongoing reforms if it does not ease tensions with its Shia minority population. Governing institutions of its absolute monarchy will also be challenged by the reforms, while economic reforms are far from convincing. The author concludes that the Saudi state may be the next weak state in the region.
Søren Schmidt is Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark. He is a political scientist by training and specialises in the politics of the Middle East. His latest publication is a chapter contribution to Ray Hinnebusch and Omar Imady (eds.), The Syrian Uprising. Domestic Origins and Early Trajectory (Routledge, 2018).