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Abstract

Focusing on the domestic and regional approaches of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia post-Arab spring, this paper explores the effects of the uprisings on Middle Eastern geopolitics and security. Ultimately, it highlights the challenges the Kingdom faces at home and examines the factors behind its exceptionally interventionist approach to recent regional conflicts. These factors can be explained by a regional Saudi-Iranian rivalry, driven by a domestic regime legitimacy theory rather than solely the conventional sectarian narrative. Using empirical and qualitative observations, this analysis concludes by prioritizing regional state order, the de-escalation of regional rivalries, as well as incremental, evolutionary changes by Arab states that accommodate public grievances in a way mindful of the domestic context, without resorting to the revolutionary changes that have resulted in the significant state failures observable today.

MOUSTAFA EZZ is currently pursuing a BA with an Honors Specialization in Political Science at Huron University College. His primary research interests include international security, intelligence, counter-terrorism, political risk and diplomatic strategies. His geographic specialization is the Middle East and North Africa, having lived in the region for fifteen years.


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