From the Editors
Public life has been calmer than usual in Saudi Arabia for the last month. Invigorated by the people’s revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt and anxious about the increasing violence in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, Saudis have been following the news obsessively, perhaps for the first time in a decade. Salon talk has also shifted to serious discussions of the less than ideal role the Saudi government has played in the historic regional developments we are witnessing today. Within these discussions, predictions of what will happen next in Saudi Arabia vary, but all agree that the future course of events rests on what King Abdullah will do upon his return. In this context, two days ago, dubbed “Bright Wednesday” by Saudi media, marked a turning point in shaping the course that local movements for change will adopt.
Saudi Arabia woke up on Wednesday to the announcement of thirteen Royal Orders that preceded the much-anticipated return of Abdullah by a few hours. The King’s “gift to the nation” signaled a major push for the improvement of everyday life of all Saudis by pumping $35 billion into comprehensive development projects in every region and corner of the Kingdom. The financial boost will cut across sectors, from higher education and social security to real estate loans and immediate aid to the unemployed and the needy. Abdullah, nearing the end of his eighth decade, proved to his people that he has been listening to some of their demands despite his three-month absence from home. In line with other kings before him, Abdullah has shown the world that rentierism and developmentalism in the Kingdom are still alive and well. His petro-regime, like those in the recent past, will continue to deal with calls for serious reforms and signs of criticism or opposition by yet again throwing money at growing internal challenges.
This article is now featured in Jadaliyya's edited volume entitled Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). The volume documents the first six months of the Arab uprisings, explaining the backgrounds and trajectories of these popular movements. It also archives the range of responses that emanated from activists, scholars, and analysts as they sought to make sense of the rapidly unfolding events. Click here to access the full article by ordering your copy of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings from Amazon, or use the link below to purchase from the publisher.
2 comments for "Agency and Its Discontents: Between Al Saud's Paternalism and the Awakening of Saudi Youth "
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
"Arguably, the revolutionary aspirations of the people of the Arab world not only depend on the bravery of the Arab people but also on the ability of people in the West to resist neoliberal deepening in their own countries."click | email | tweet
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Jadalicious / جدلشس
Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut http://t.co/qWkYjpnv73
yesterday at 8:58 AM
Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis in Publishing and Academia from the Arab World http://t.co/hYEOUmJrSx
yesterday at 5:53 AM
Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza http://t.co/XjZgCbg7Yf
yesterday at 5:31 AM
Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza http://t.co/uHOsoOJIUA
yesterday at 3:12 AM
Last Week on Jadaliyya (July 14-20) http://t.co/mwBrIekKOl
on Tuesday 22 July at 03:16 PM
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 July)
- A Debate on Gaza: Democracy Now! Interviews Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and. J.J. Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward
- New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Alliances and Perception Profiles in the Iranian Reform Movement, 1997 to 2005
- Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut
- Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis in Publishing and Academia from the Arab World
- Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 22)
- Israel Mows the Lawn
- نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"
- Mohamed Bouazizi, l'ouvrier agricole : Relire la « révolution » depuis les campagnes tunisiennes
- Egypt Media Roundup (July 21)
- Video: US Aid to Israel - The Real Deal
- بغايا بغداد التعيسات
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (July 14-20)
- HRW Whitewashes Israel, The Law Supports Hamas: Some Reflections on Israel’s Latest Massacre
- Press Release: UNRWA Commissioner-General Press Briefing on the Situation in Gaza Strip
- Kateb Yacine: A Profile from the Archives
- On the Margins Roundup (July)
- On Our Intervention in Kalam al-Nas: Real Estate Development Will Not Realize the Dreams of the Lebanese
- رد مصر على الهجوم الإسرائيلي على غزة: مقابلة مع حسام الحملاوي