Among the Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa, Saudi Arabia is at once paradigmatic and exceptional. The kingdom epitomizes what every schoolchild knows about this part of the world'limitless deserts, camel-herding nomads, oil wells, jet-setting princes, reactionary religious authorities, severely restricted gender relations'all in one neat package. At the same time, it takes these features to extremes approximated only by neighboring Abu Dhabi and Qatar, neither one of which has elicited anything like the same degree of journalistic or scholarly scrutiny. It is no wonder that the concept of the rentier state has been applied more persistently and innovatively to Saudi Arabia than anywhere else, including Iran, whose political economy the notion was originally coined to describe.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science