Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saudi succession :: Google Search of the day

Some items of interest:

o Saudi stability:: Washington Institute: "The lack of clarity regarding Saudi succession has added to the kingdom's sense of uncertainty and nearly rudderless leadership. These anxieties would only be compounded if both Abdullah and Sultan -- who are themselves eighty-one and eighty years old, respectively -- died before Fahd passes. Observers have already noted increasing signs of engagement in palace politics by the next generation of princes, some of them in their fifties or sixties and with considerable administrative experience."

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Review of Succession in Saudi Arabia :: Daniel Pipes: "Another complexity arises from generational overlap - the youngest of the sons (born in 1947) is younger than the oldest of the great-grand-sons (born 1946), leading to a situation where "the pool of potentially active princes contains elements of four generations that are of roughly similar ages." "

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April 29: Clinically dead? :: adnkronosinternational

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The Saudi Paradox :: Foreign Affairs: "The Saudi state is a fragmented entity, divided between the fiefdoms of the royal family. Among the four or five most powerful princes, two stand out: Crown Prince Abdullah and his half-brother Prince Nayef, the interior minister. Relations between these two leaders are visibly tense. In the United States, Abdullah cuts a higher profile. But at home in Saudi Arabia, Nayef, who controls the secret police, casts a longer and darker shadow. Ever since King Fahd's stroke in 1995, the question of succession has been hanging over the entire system, but neither prince has enough clout to capture the throne. Saudi Arabia is in the throes of a crisis. The economy cannot keep pace with population growth, the welfare state is rapidly deteriorating, and regional and sectarian resentments are rising to the fore. These problems have been exacerbated by an upsurge in radical Islamic activism. Many agree that the Saudi political system must somehow evolve, but a profound cultural schizophrenia prevents the elite from agreeing on the specifics of reform."

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Polity IV Authority Trends: Saudi Arabia, 1946-2003

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