With the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, there is much press speculation about change in the Kingdom. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status, Toby Jones parses through these debates and highlights the more salient points, identifying how this transition should be analyzed beyond hyperbolic prognostication.
Toby C. Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University`s Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political analyst for the International Crisis Group. His research interests focus on the environment, energy, and the history of science and technology. He is the author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010) and is currently working on two new books, America`s Oil Wars (under contract at Harvard University Press) and Running Dry: Essays on Environmental Crisis (under contract with Rutgers University Press). He has written for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of American History, Middle East Report, Raritan Quarterly Review, The Nation, The Atlantic, the London Review of Books, the New York Times, and elsewhere. Jones is a member of the Editorial Committee at Middle East Report and Director of Rutgers` Center for Middle Eastern Studies.