The Saudi Arabian monarchy : traditional leadership building a modern state

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Ghahtani, Ismail Salih, 1945-
Chang, Teh-Kuang, 1925-
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Thesis (M.A.)
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This thesis has explored the process that has transformed Saudi Arabia from a loose tribeal community into a centralized urban society. This process was accomplished under the traditional political leadership if the House of Saud, which imposed a framework for national integration by setting the limits on the boundaries of the nation. Out of conviction and necessity the Sauds decided that the system inherited from the past eras out of date and that a change to modern policies was necessary. Reforms were launched but within the existing framework of political and religious ligitamacy.In addition, the thesis has discussed the impact of petroleum development on all sectors of the Saudi society, as well as a general growth, on the evolution of development planning machinery, or. settlement of nomads, on improvement in the provision of social welfare and education. Despite the huge capital surplus from oil production, the thesis finds major problems which continue to confront the Saudi leadership-- traditional constraints and manpower constraints. The thesis' findings confirm that the social and institutional constraints inherited from the past are far more powerful limitations to modernization and development than has been generally realized.