The need for strategic research and study centers (think tanks) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Algahtani, Jamal A.
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Rapid growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) demands a transparent policy-making apparatus to meet emerging needs. Government agencies alone may not be able to devise legitimate public policies. The presence of an adequate number of capable think tanks in KSA will add legitimacy to the public policy-making process. Think tanks can provide policy guidance on modern issues like economic growth, resource allocation, job creation, unemployment reduction, financial management, legislation, and human capital development. The Majlis al Shura is a ministerial-level institution in today’s KSA and performs in a similar manner to think tanks. There is an increased demand to help launch independent research centers and provide them with needed support due to accelerated growth. The KSA government seems willing to extend its support to such institutes without governmental intervention and pressures. The Syrian issue generated a broad-based policy discussion in the United States and was taken as a case study. Many lessons can be drawn from this case that are specific to the local dynamics of KSA, and which can be employed in economics, security, foreign policy, social welfare, advancing national goals, protecting national interests, capturing market share in the global market, attracting foreign direct investment, and so on. Based on these lessons learned, this research proposes a way forward for encouraging the establishment of think tanks in KSA
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