The Saudi conundrum (Mideast Monitor)

In his latest "Mideast Monitor" column for the Jerusalem Report, Senior Research Fellow Prof. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman argues that Saudi Arabia is being forced to adapt to unprecedented economic and political challenges, and faces a significant risk to its survival.

"Underpinning the plan is the need to cope with the multiple challenges: The precipitous drop in the price of oil and resulting deleterious effects on the Saudi budget; the regional upheavals that have posed new security challenges for the kingdom and resulted in an unprecedented degree of military muscle-flexing; uncertainty over the durability of the partnership with the US, the ultimate guarantor of the regime’s survival and well-being for the last 70 years; the far-reaching social and demographic changes within the country stemming from decades of modernization; the continued centrality of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi religious establishment, and the need to fashion governing institutions appropriate to the new and more complex realities."