The fate of Saudi Arabia regime evolution in the Saudi monarchy
Balka, Charles E.
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Samuel Huntington described the transformation process from an authoritarian regime to a democratic form of government as a direct transition. This model of transformation was applied to Saudi Arabia to analyze if it is displaying characteristics that led other authoritarian regimes to democratization. The relationship between the regime and the population is evolving and is facilitated by external and internal forces that represent an overall push toward democratization. The internal pressures are a growing population, increasing educational levels, growing internet and modern technology usage, and an increasingly critical press. The external sources are the international political and economic world order, Islamic extremism, security concerns, and non-governmental organizations. Several segments of society, including the ulama, merchants, technocrats, expatriates, tribes, and women are undergoing social changes that offer different political influences from what existed at the time of the creation of Saudi Arabia, and some of these groups demand more effective government. Several earlier attempts at liberal reforms failed to produce a lasting commitment and left the Saudi monarchy in total control. The social changes and internal and external forces will force the government to keep reforms in place to bring about an evolutionary change to a more liberal form of government.
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