Role of Saudi Arabia in Gulf Politics

Research Synopsis M.phil

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Shaista Shaukat ali


Saudi Arabia has played a key role in Gulf politics, security and economy, for the past four decades, as well as in Muslim world during different conflicts, issues and challenges like Palestine issue, Kuwait Iraq war, Yemen, Syria and Egypt crisis. The study will provide how certain factors in Muslim world like oil, religion & regional conflicts, shaped their relations with Saudi Arabia. Although each factor has played a significant role in determining the foreign policy behavior in Muslim states, each factor has assumed different degrees of importance, and impacts on relation among Saudi Arabia and Muslim world on different time period, and how Saudi Arabia interested in maintaining a degree of co-operation policies, diplomacy, view point, strategic alliances and efforts to resolve the issues and crisis among Muslim states. Saudi Arabia has wielded considerable influence with its neighbors through its vast oil reserves, financial and political support, and the ideological influence, domestically, and that how Saudi Arabia has power to affect regional political developments.


Political Science and International Relations emerged as a result of the need to establish substantial connections between current politics and social sciences throughout the century. The change in the international political environment especially in Muslim world has great impacts on relation among Muslim and non Muslim states, in this perspective, the study will help to understand the role of Saudi Arabia in gulf politics and in conflics of Muslim states.


H1: Saudi Arabia as a conflict manager in Middle Eastern security environment

H2.Saudi Arabia is influencing the gulf politics through security alliances

H3: Saudi hegemony increasing in Muslim world due to its positive involvement in crisis


The study will identify and explore different factors and variables which have impacted on shaping policies and decision by Saudi Arabia in managing conflicts in Muslim world. The study will attempts to establish and develop a comprehensive understanding of Saudi relations with Muslim states and will examine how these relations have been affected by various issues. The study will highlight the different factors, impacting on strategically relations between Saudi and Muslim world and shaping their foreign and national policies.


Data related to the topic will be collected from books, newspapers, articles, journals, research papers and government records.

The research work will be descriptive, qualitative techniques will be applied in the study.


Many books have been written on Saudi Arabia and its role in gulf state and in Muslim World. However major books, articles which are most relevant to the proposal research work discussed below:

Palgrave Connect in “Regional Powers in the Middle East: New Constellations After the Arab Revolts” explained how Saudi Arabia capable to perform his role in regional affairs. The writer also provides some information about Sadi role in Arab League and also makes a comparison between Turkiy and Saudi Arabia as regional power in Muslim World. This will be helpful in research as to know about the policies of regional powers in Middle East.

Barry Rubin in “Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle East “provided a comparative analysis of militant wings and their supports in Middle East. It informed about the nature of conflicts in Gulf States and role of regional actors which can play a decisive role in resolving conflicts, so this book will be helpful to analyse the role of Saudi Arabia as a balancer in region.

Ron Eduard Hassner in “War on Sacred Grounds “comprehensively described the mysteries and space of conflicts on sacred places. The narrator explained the makkah and Jerusalem conflict and role of religious and political authorities of Middle East and also define the role of conflict manager Saudi Arabia. This book is quite relevant to the research topic.

Sarah Stern in” Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace” an important book which provide information how Saudi Arabia play role in OIC as a larger funder and financial of this organization .

“Thicker than oil” by Rachel Bronson,is very helpful book and discussed the saudi relationship ,geographic location and religiously motivated foreign policies , efforts to resolve the conflic from Africa to Afghanistan, Egypt to Nicaragua,

The Saudi Enigma: A HistoryBy Pascal Menoret, is comprehensive book on Saudi involvement in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia , Algeria and gulf war.

Riad A. Attar in “Arms and Conflict in the Middle East” .In this book writer discussed the importance of Saudi arabia in gulf politics and its influence on different conflics in gulf states, more important thing about this book is that writer narated figures about conflics.

William M. Habeeb in “The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change” discussed the ideologies of gulf states and their close tiec with Muslim and non Muslim states, and how these ties and ideologies influence the strategic partnership of Saudi Arabia with states. it will be helpful examine Saudi consensus to different threats to middle east.

Simon Murden in “Islam, the Middle East, and the New Global Hegemony” examined the Saudi influence on Muslim states as well as relation with major super powers in international political sanerio. The writer described the security and economic ties of Saudi Arabia with nuclear power that impacts the whole Muslim world directly and indirectly, in this way this book will help during research.

Nawaf E. Obaid in” The Power of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Leaders” discussed the role of Saudi Ulema in national and foreign policies as well as oil embargo and about the Saudi hosting of foreign troops. This journal will also be helpful in this research.

Tim Niblock in “Saudi Arabia: Power, Legitimacy and Survival” discussed political agenda, reforms, policies, structure and change that not effect the gulf politics and policies but influence the whole Muslim world. it will be help full to make research about Saudi’s role as conflict manager.

Stig Stenslie in “Regime Stability in Saudi Arabia: The Challenge of Succession” threw light on the main decision makers related to security economic and political relations and alliances of royal family to other Muslim politicians. This book is quite relevant to the research topic and will be helpful in this regard.

Hatem Shareef Abu-Lebdeh in “Conflict and Peace in the Middle East” discussed the role of Saudi Arabia in division of gulf politics, collation with Gulf States, resolutions, economics embargo which reflected the means and approaches to resolve the gulf crises. This book will also helpful in research in point of view to understand the role of Saudi Arabia in gulf politics.

Suhara Ashfaq in “What is Saudi Arabia’s Desired Role in Muslim World?” discussed the influential and dominating role of Saudi Arabia elaborating close ties between USA & KSA

James Wynbrandt in “A Brief History of Saudi Arabia” by told us Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state has played a prominent role throughout the history and how influenced the regional politics. The interesting fact about this book is that the writer narrated everything through pictures, map, charts and illustration so it will quite helpful in this research.

Majid Khadduri, Edmund Ghareeb in “War in the Gulf, 1990-91: The Iraq-Kuwait Conflict and Its Implications “explained how Saudi Arabia played the positive and effective role in Arab Gulf crisis, and efforts for not reach an agreement by direct negotiation, and how they promote co operation among Muslim countries during the crisis.


Abu-Lebdeh,H(1997 ).Conflict and Peace in the Middle East: University press of America

Attar,A, R.(ED).(2009 ).Arms and Conflict in the Middle East: Emerald Group Publishing Limited Howard House,UK

Bronson,R. (2006).Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia. Oxford University Press

Connect,P.(2014).Regional Powers in the Middle East: St.Martin Press New York

Guo,R.(2012).Territorial Disputes and Conflict Management: The Art of Avoiding War:Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York

Habeeb ,W.(2012).The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change:ABC-CLIO,LLC. Oxford England

Hassner,R.(2009).War on Sacred Grounds:Cornell University Press.Ithaca, New York

Ismael, T& . Ismael,S. (2012).Government and Politics of the Contemporary Middle East: Continuity and Change: Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York

Korany,B. (ED).(2014) .Arab Human Development in the Twenty-First Century: The American University in Cairo Press ,New York

Khadduri, M., & Ghareeb,E.(1997) .War in the Gulf, 1990-91: The Iraq-Kuwait Conflict and Its Implications. Oxford university press

Menoret ,P. (2005).The Saudi Enigma: A History .Zed books London &New York

Murden,M. (2002). Islam, the Middle East, and the New Global Hegemony.Lynne Rienner Publishers,USA

Nibloc,T. (2006).Saudi Arabia: Power, Legitimacy and Survival.Routledge 270 Madison Ave,New York

Rubin,B. (ED).(2009).Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle East:British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.

Stenslie,S.(2012 ). Regime Stability in Saudi Arabia:Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York

Stern,S.(ED).(2011). Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network:PALGRAVE MACMILLAN® in the United States

Wynbrandt, J.(2010). A Brief History of Saudi Arabia:Infobase Publishing, New York

Rasmussen, L,.& Oakley,R. (1992).Conflict Resolution in the Middle East:US Institute of Peace Press,Washington.D.C–02.htm–02.htm