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Saudi FP

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 342
Imad Mansour

Foreign Policy: Middle EaImad Mansour March 15, 2010 Since the 50s to the 70s, imbalance in spending power: majority of money was going to the Sunni’s. spending on Sunni section of society continued ●there were clear distinctions b/w money going to royal family supporters, pattern of unequal spending did not hit only the Shia but also the Sunni-- there is a story to be told about economic distribution that does not have solely to do ethnic ties ●distinction b/w the East and West but also divisions w/in the West itself ●by the late 70s, socio-economic tensions heightened-- no ability to express interest and organize society, effectively: religiuos clerics took on the need to organize the regime Domestic Influences on Saudi FP ●political role of religion ●Islam as an organizer of political life ●division of power between governing regime and religious order -- division of labor b/w the two groups ●majority of the population adheres to Wahabbi interpretation of Islam (minority is Shi’ite): historic role of the regime has been to control the state ●the state has tried to take more control over how religion is interpreted- - protection of Islam is linked to how the state protects and administers its affairs ●after the 70s when the clerics realized they could mobilize the population against the regime, it tried to play a role in managing the religious institutions ●early 80s: more competition b/w regime and administrators of religious affairs = very active role by the non-religious affairs group to intervene and directly appoint the highest religious figure who was sympathetic to the regime: issued religious dictums to allow deployment of foreign troops on the land, also allowed the regime whatever measures necessary to protect the kingdom, state stacking the state apparatus to its advantage ● political inclusion was almost non-existent: top-down mode of managing society, no input into decision making-- this model reflected the fact that the regime doesn’t rely on the domestic economy for its resources, financing the regime relies on the oil revenue ● What does this mean for Foreign Policy? ● there is not necessarily a marked change in Saudi management: trend has been to try to control activity in the kingdom including the religious institutions ● when pressures on the regime were increased in the late 70s, the regime was more forth-coming in trying to control them Foreign Policy: Middle EaImad Mansour ●was not confrontational and did not try to provoke neighbors, tried to reconcile conflicts in the region, also the Saudi Kingdom Foreign Policy of Iran Iran has been preoccupied with what happens b/w Pakistan and India, Afghanistan remains unstable and borders Iran. Turkmenistan poses no threat,
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