Why Saudi Arabia’s oil addiction could spell major trouble.
Saudi Arabia is in the throes of an identity crisis that could ultimately lead to a redefining of its founding pact.
The responses of Gulf Cooperation Council countries to the 2011 uprisings only reinforce a culture of state dependency.
Will change come for Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority?
Rumblings of change are growing louder in Saudi society; but is the monarchy prepared to give in?
Whispers of a Bahraini-Saudi union have long abounded. Yet only recently has the matter been discussed realistically—most visibly during May 14’s GCC meeting. Is such a union possible?
Saudi Arabia’s pillars of stability are weakening, but the opposition remains fragmented.
Tunisia’s 217-member Constituent Assembly must now write a constitution. What are the next stages of institutional reform?
In the wake of the region’s political tremors, Gulf monarchies are claiming reform of their security sectors. But are the changes enough—and are they genuine?
Saudi King Abdullah’s decree that only officially approved religious scholars would be allowed to issue fatwas is a step in the continuing efforts of the state to assert its primacy over the country’s religious establishment.
Reform in Saudi Arabia remains the personal whim of King Abdullah and has not yet had an impact on institutions.
Women's rights have gained ground as a main focus for reform in Saudi Arabia, but advocates face a resistant religious establishment.
Recent appointments by Saudi King Abdullah are essential to implementing the 2007 judicial reforms, which are beginning to disentangle the judiciary from the executive branch.
Senior Saudi officials have announced recently that they will soon begin trying terrorism suspects held in connection with a series of major attacks that began in 2003. The use of the court system to battle extremism was not possible while the government perceived al-Qaeda as an existential threat; clearly it has now been downgraded to an internal security threat.
The municipal elections currently underway in Saudi Arabia are the kingdom's first since 1963, when the last municipal races were held in the Western province.
Saudi Arabia's burgeoning reform movement presented its latest petition to King Fahad bin Abdul-Aziz, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, and the Minister of Defense Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz on September 24. Titled "In Defense of the Nation," the document was signed by 306 Saudi men and women [click here to read an English translation of the petition].
Are economic and political reforms an effective way to combat corruption, or do changes such as privatizing state industries actually increase opportunities for corruption? There is not a single answer to the question, but a closer look at the types of corruption
In the Saudi political annals, 2003 was the year of reform par excellence. 2003 witnessed not only a growth of literature on reform unprecedented in size and boldness, but also the government's announcement of several reforms, the most significant of which is the holding of municipal elections. Though no date has been set, such elections would be the first in the Kingdom since the early 1960s.
In the 1930s, when Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, asked the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, for permission to open a branch of his movement in the Kingdom, the King rejected the request as unnecessary. "The entire Kingdom is a branch for the Brotherhood and all Saudis are Muslim brothers," he replied.
Saudis are still awaiting the inauguration of their partially-elected municipal councils, despite the fact that the last round of elections was held eight months ago. The delay has dampened popular enthusiasm for the councils and raised questions about the Saudi government's seriousness about political reform.