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Saudi Arabia: Power, Legitimacy and Survival


Niblock's discussion is comprehensive, and his particular focus on regime critique is compelling. This is especially true where he suggests that a discussion of Saudi state and Arabian society converge (100). His analysis makes the case for an earnest study of Wahhabism. It is clear that scholars of the Middle East should understand how a school of thought, allied with a conservative state, is becoming "radical," and how in its new configuration, it is affecting mainline Sunni politics throughout the region. This is especially true in light of complaints ranging from as far as Iraq, Kurdistan, Pakistan, and Ethiopia that "exported Wahhabism" is threatening the peace in these regions. Here Niblock's study makes the case that despite U.S. reliance on Saudi oil, the house of Su'ud will have to find a way to distinguish state-sponsored Wahhabism, formulated for domestic assignment, from the militant nonstate variety.

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