In Search of Saudi Arabia – A Rock in a Stormy Sea?

Saudi Arabia and the Arab Spring

13/06/2013 | 18:30 - 20:00 | DGAP | Invitation only


Category: Saudi Arabia

Joint Panel Discussion by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in cooperation with Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS).


Paul Freiherr von Maltzahn
Secretary General, German Council on Foreign Relations


Madawi al-Rasheed
Professor in the Anthropology of Religion, King’s College, London

Paul Aarts
Senior lecturer in International Relations, University of Amsterdam

Sebastian Maisel
Assistant professor for Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Grand Valley State University, USA


Prof. Gudrun Krämer
Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, Free University Berlin

Since 2011 the Arab world is facing tremendous changes. However, the Arabic Gulf and particularly the kingdom of Saudi Arabia appear rather unaffected by the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. However, social and economic grievances have been voiced. Notably Saudi internet and youth forums critically discuss the country's macroeconomic realities, such as the high unemployment rate among Saudi youth and the presence of millions of guest workers. Also the heavy reliance on the oil wealth and its uneven distribution elicits criticism.

The event is part of the international graduate student workshop “In Search of the Kingdom – Emerging Scholarship on Saudi Arabia: From the First Saudi State to the Present” (Berlin, June 12-14) jointly organized by the doctoral students from Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS). This initiative aims at creating an interdisciplinary platform for a substantial, academic debate allowing new perspectives on Saudi Arabia. 

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