In Search of Stability: Saudi Arabia and the Arab Spring

Edited by: René Rieger
Publisher: Gulf Research Center Cambridge
Published year: 2013

This paper challenges the widespread assertion that the Saudi reaction to the developments related to the Arab Spring has been purely counterrevolutionary in nature. While it is true that Riyadh has been supporting the monarchical regimes in Bahrain and Oman and backed the Mubarak regime in Egypt right until its fall, the Kingdom supported the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in Libya and, after initial hesitation, also became a strong supporter of the anti-regime forces in Syria. The Saudi reaction to the Arab Spring has been dynamic in nature and differed from one state to another. The Saudi bolstering of the political status quo and regime stability in some states, support of revolutionary forces in others, and interference in post-revolutionary processes yet elsewhere, may ostensibly be a contradiction but is in fact the result of a coherent strategy

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