Civil Society in Saudi Arabia: The Power and Challenges of Association
Saudi Arabia is undergoing considerable political change at the senior level, but as international attention focuses on the empowerment of a new generation of princes, far less has been written on the ways in which the broader population of young Saudis are seeking to organize themselves and develop civil society.
Based on field research in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, a new Chatham House research paper assesses the degree to which people in the kingdom can meet, discuss their views and represent their opinions to government, arguing that Saudi Arabia has considerable pent-up and frustrated social energy, both among young people and their parents’ generation. Its author, Caroline Montagu, will present her findings and make the case that Saudi Arabia should regard civil society as an asset for the nation and a bridge between the population and the government, which would require reform of laws governing associational life.
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