A history of Saudi foreign policy: from reaction to proactivity

al-Mutairi, Khalid (2017) A history of Saudi foreign policy: from reaction to proactivity. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The Saudi foreign policy has, since the nation’s establishment, consistently been reactive and characterised by the complete absence of self-determining initiative, the tendency toward showing restraint and adopting a moderate policy is one such feature, as Saudi Arabia sought to a position of mediation in order to maintain the status quo. Officials involved in national foreign policy decisions preferred to employ the political and economic components of the country’s foreign policy instrument. This pattern of behaviour is most apparent when Saudi Arabia acted in historical regional issues. However, as more current events demonstrate, it has changed to a decidedly more proactive stance, assuming a more interventionist approach from 2011
onwards due to a range of external and internal factors that have influenced its behaviour regarding different political issues in the region.
The objective of the research project is to examine Saudi foreign policy as it developed in relation to the most important historical events that occurred from 1936 onwards in order to determine the conventional pattern of behaviour, examine the circumstances that created the pattern that will provide a standard against which to
measure the major changes that occurred in 2011, and to, analyse the changes in foreign policy that occurred during 2003-2013, by choosing two case studies, the Iraq War in 2003, and the Arab Spring of 2011, to identify the substantial changes in Saudi foreign policy and demonstrate how these changes were influenced by a variety of
both internal and external factors.
This different pattern of behaviour substantiates the main argument of this thesis, namely, that Saudi foreign policy underwent a radical alteration as officials completely departed from the firmly established tradition of tending toward understated diplomacy and ensuring distance from regional conflicts that historically characterised the country’s foreign policy strategy. A new pattern of behaviour became evident as officials adopted a more proactive approach in how they employed all its foreign policy instruments, adopted a proactive policy of deterrence, relying increasingly on its military capacities..

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Brian Watkins
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2017 14:28
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 14:28
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/65373
DOI:

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