Saudi Arabia

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Snapshot,
Yoel Guzansky and Sigurd Neubauer

This might be the year that changes everything in the Middle East. The reason: a possible thaw in Saudi Arabian–Iranian relations.

Snapshot,
Ellen Laipson

History will show that Abdullah did more than his predecessors to help Saudi Arabia adapt to changing expectations of Saudi citizens, but there was nothing transformative in the short run, and nothing profoundly disruptive or destabilizing either. That may have been his special talent, and a worthy legacy.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Leadership matters, especially in the Middle East, where institutions are weak and often nonexistent. But charisma and talent, on their own, won’t be enough to dig Saudi Arabia out of the profound generational problems that go beyond Abdullah, his successor Salman, or any leader who will preside over the Kingdom.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab and Robert A. Manning

Following a plunge in the price of oil, Saudi Arabia was expected to cut back its production and help stabilize the market. But in a break with tradition, Riyadh has refused to play ball. That decision will have far-reaching consequences, some of which carry big risks for the Kingdom.

Snapshot,
Jim Krane

The Gulf monarchies have developed a growing taste for their chief export, one that could undermine both of their long-held roles: as global suppliers and as stable polities in an otherwise fractious Middle East.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

No modern Arab country has succeeded in building and sustaining an indigenous national defense industry. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are about to change that.

Snapshot,
Michael Bröning

Expectations for the Arab League (which had never been high) are at an all-time low in the wake of last week's summit. If the organization wants to remain relevant, it should take a page from the African Union, which revised its charter after the Rwandan genocide and transformed itself from “the dictators’ club” -- as many called its predecessor, the OAU -- into a key player in contemporary African politics.

Snapshot,
William McCants

Although Saudi Arabia’s dislike of Brotherhood political activities abroad is well known, for decades the kingdom has tolerated the local Saudi branch of the Brotherhood. Its sudden reversal is an expression of solidarity with its politically vulnerable allies in the region and a warning to Sunni Islamists to tread carefully.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar, claiming that Doha was violating a clause in the Gulf Cooperation Council charter not to interfere in the domestic affairs of fellow members. The decision, unprecedented in the council's history, hints at significant changes to come for the GCC and the balance of power in the Gulf.

Snapshot,
Nina Easton

Saudi Arabia remains the only country on earth to prevent women from driving, but driving is not the only way to measure women's progress. In fact, they have made great strides in government, the work force, and education.

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