Breakfast Briefing on Saudi Arabia

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Date: Wednesday 9 September 2015

Time: 08:00 - 10:00

The past year has been a tumultuous one for Saudi Arabia. The price of oil—by far the country’s leading export and main source of government revenue—has declined precipitously since last summer. King Salman assumed the throne in January amid great speculation and concern about his health . In April he replaced the Crown Prince with his nephew Muhammad bin Nayef, who is the first of his generation to assume the position. Saudi Arabia has also taken a leading role in a number of regional conflicts and has faced a minor insurgency at home. It has led the coalition against the Huthi rebels in Yemen, has supported President el-Sisi’s regime in Egypt, and has battled the Islamic State at home and abroad. Our speaker analyses the current state of affairs in Saudi Arabia and offers a prognosis about the stability and fortunes of the Arab world’s largest economy.

  • The impact of declining oil prices on the economy
  • Succession politics and the potential for political upheaval
  • Internal security and the ability of the regime to battle the Islamic State domestically
  • The prospects for economic and political reform
  • Saudi Arabia’s evolving role in Yemen, Syria, Egypt, and the GCC

The speaker, Nathan Hodson, is a PhD candidate and graduate fellow at Princeton University, where he specialises in Saudi political and economic affairs. He has been conducting research in the Kingdom since 2008. Proficient in Arabic and a former Fulbright Fellow, he holds an MA in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton and an MPA from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.