Irreconcilable Role-Partners? Saudi Foreign Policy Between the Ulama and the US<sup>1</sup>

Bahgat Korany and Ali E. Hillal Dessouki

in The Foreign Policies of Arab States

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163609
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970375 | DOI:
Irreconcilable Role-Partners? Saudi Foreign Policy Between the Ulama and the US1

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The path chosen by Saudi Arabia is not only a function of objective factors determined by geopolitics and economic interests, but also the effect of a new king taking office, the current King Abdullah. This chapter focuses on how domestic and international changes are forcing Saudi Arabia to redefine its foreign policy role. It applies the general framework and starts by tracing the components of the domestic environment from the evolution of population and social structure to economic and military capabilities. It emphasizes especially the multiplicity of groups and their dynamics, the pressures for reform and the recent additions in political structure. In the analysis of foreign policy proper, the characteristics of general orientation and specific behavior are sorted out, at the regional or global policy level. Special emphasis is put on the still obscure decision-making process, with Saudi reaction toward the 2006 Israel–Hizbullah war as a case in point.

Keywords: Ramadan; September 11; Saudi Arabia; King Abdullah; Israel–Hizbullah war; geopolitics

Chapter.  21816 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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