This paper discusses the political legitimacy of regimes in two significant Arab states following the Arab Spring: Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Using the concepts of eudaemonic legitimacy and the rentier state, the paper explores the reasons for which the late Saudi Arabian King Abdullah was able to maintain his regime’s legitimacy with minimal force while Egypt’s Mubarak was ousted at the hands of millions of angry protesters. Economic and social stability, it is concluded, is the major factor in ensuring the continued legitimacy of a political regime. Abdullah achieves this through a successful application of the rentier state supported by a wealthy economy, whereas Mubarak is unable to fulfil the needs of his citizens and thus his legitimacy, although legal-rational, is denied. The result is the enduring strength of one political system and another being thrown into revolution.

KYLE SHOLES is a fourth year student at Huron University College pursuing a BA Honors Specialization in Political Science. Upon the completion of his degree in June 2016, Kyle plans to pursue graduate studies in the field of Public Policy and Administration.