Omnibalancing and the House of Saud
Reinhold, Baron V.
Looney, Robert E.
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Whether it is Egypt, Yemen, Iran or Iraq, when it comes to threats facing the House of Saud, the popular media has focused almost exclusively on external factors. Yet, the greatest threat facing the House of Saud is not one of foreign aggression but one of domestic opposition. This thesis contends that the House of Saud has maintained control of Saudi Arabia by relying on three distinct pillars (or power facilitators): first, aligning itself with a strong and reliable outside power, second, preventing opposition groups from gaining a significant following by controlling informal networks within Saudi Arabia, and third, creating a rentier state making its citizens dependent on the government largesse. Furthermore, this thesis contends that the House of Saud will have increasing difficulties controlling its informal networks, and that its rentier policies are utterly flawed and unsustainable. The purpose of this thesis is to scrutinize Saudi Arabia in order to determine the future viability of the House of Saud in light of the numerous political, social, religious and economic challenges that it now faces. The House of Saud is analyzed through the lens of omnibalancing which this thesis argues best describes the House of Saudâ s propensities.
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