Demographics : the downfall of Saudi Arabia
Goetz, Adam N.
Looney, Robert E.
Russell, James A.
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Threats to Saudi Arabia have historically been categorized as external, reference immediate neighbors, and internal via conservative Islamic opposition groups. The United States, because of its security arrangement, has guaranteed the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia. Opposition groups within the Kingdom, while attracting recent attention, are placated through concessions to the Ulema and direct payment. However, primary destabilization of the Saudi regime today is due to stress placed upon the Saudi economy and ruling structure by an unprecedented population growth within the Kingdom over the last two decades. The argument is that growth in the Kingdom has rapidly outstripped the regime's ability to provide for it, undermining the key pillar of the Royal Family's ruling legitimacy. This thesis explores stress placed upon the Saudi regime through its population growth. Due to effects of relative deprivation, the Saudi populace is demanding government participation, calling to question personal regime expenditures, and the motivations of regime foreign policy, especially in relation to the United States. This study will briefly address courses of action available to the Royal Family, current effects of population growth upon the Saudi economy, and the regional and international consequences of a failed Saudi government.
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