Nation Building in Saudi Arabia: From Rentierism to Territorial Nationalism


The article investigates the dynamic sociopolitical transformation underway in Saudi Arabia, contextualizing it within the framework of territorial nationalism and examining the intricate interplay of historical, religious, and nationalist factors. The study explores various elements, including the burgeoning youth population, the reshaping of the rentier economy, internal structural changes within the ruling dynasty, the influence of Wahhabi-Salafi ideology, the evolving role of the religious institution, the women’s rights issue, and the process of militarization. It sets these developments within the broader context of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s endeavors to foster territorial nationalism. The article assesses the implications of contemporary modernization strategies, elucidating their connection to key aspects such as oil revenues, petro-dollar accumulation, advancements in the entertainment sector, and the resurgence of nation-building initiatives. The analysis encompasses an exploration of external factors that mold Saudi Arabia’s trajectory, encompassing dynamics in international relations, regional conflicts, and shifts in the geopolitical landscape, and offers insights into the multifaceted nature of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transformation.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Saudi Arabia Territorial Nationalism Rentier State Wahhabi Ideology