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Managing the Arab Spring

Managing the Arab Spring The Arab Spring posed a number of challenges for Saudi Arabia both internally and externally. Its primary concern was to maintain security and stability within the kingdom as it feared a spillover of the problems faced by the affected countries. Arab Spring also challenged the regional dynamics which had the potential to harm Saudi national interests. Thus, the monarchy tried to manage the emerging situation by keeping an eye on its domestic stability and maintaining its external standing. Though it applied similar strategies inside and outside, the approaches were contradictory. It was accommodative in dealing with the situation within, but chose to be assertive when it came to pursuing its interests outside. It managed to effectively achieve its objectives of avoiding the spread of protests and the attendant potential for instability inside the kingdom despite facing security concerns. Moreover, it was largely successful in influencing the events in Bahrain and Yemen to secure its interests, and with Syria staring at a stalemate and an altered situation in Egypt, the potential threat of a radically changed regional environment also subsided. Thus, the Saudi aims of protecting the national interests and keeping the regional dynamics intact while ensuring the security and stability of the kingdom were fulfilled. However, with the evolving nature of sociopolitical life in the Arab world in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, the monarchy needs to develop a nuanced and sustainable approach toward dealing with these recurring issues. It is important that a steady process of reform is initiated to satisfy people’s aspirations and an institutionalized foreign policy is developed to deal with the changing regional environment. A failure at any of the two can pose a threat to the kingdom’s stability and regional standing in the long run. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Review of the Middle East SAGE

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References (70)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2014 Sage Publications India Private Limited
ISSN
2347-7989
eISSN
2349-0055
DOI
10.1177/2347798914532727
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Arab Spring posed a number of challenges for Saudi Arabia both internally and externally. Its primary concern was to maintain security and stability within the kingdom as it feared a spillover of the problems faced by the affected countries. Arab Spring also challenged the regional dynamics which had the potential to harm Saudi national interests. Thus, the monarchy tried to manage the emerging situation by keeping an eye on its domestic stability and maintaining its external standing. Though it applied similar strategies inside and outside, the approaches were contradictory. It was accommodative in dealing with the situation within, but chose to be assertive when it came to pursuing its interests outside. It managed to effectively achieve its objectives of avoiding the spread of protests and the attendant potential for instability inside the kingdom despite facing security concerns. Moreover, it was largely successful in influencing the events in Bahrain and Yemen to secure its interests, and with Syria staring at a stalemate and an altered situation in Egypt, the potential threat of a radically changed regional environment also subsided. Thus, the Saudi aims of protecting the national interests and keeping the regional dynamics intact while ensuring the security and stability of the kingdom were fulfilled. However, with the evolving nature of sociopolitical life in the Arab world in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, the monarchy needs to develop a nuanced and sustainable approach toward dealing with these recurring issues. It is important that a steady process of reform is initiated to satisfy people’s aspirations and an institutionalized foreign policy is developed to deal with the changing regional environment. A failure at any of the two can pose a threat to the kingdom’s stability and regional standing in the long run.

Journal

Contemporary Review of the Middle EastSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2014

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