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From Sheikhs to Sultanism – Statecraft and Authority in Saudi Arabia and the UAE - Oxford Scholarship Online
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From Sheikhs to Sultanism: Statecraft and Authority in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Christopher M. Davidson


Muhammad bin Salman Al-Saud and Muhammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the respective princely strongmen of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have torn up the old rules. They have spurred game-changing economic master plans, presided over vast anti-corruption crackdowns, tackled entrenched religious forces, and overseen the mass arrest of critics. In parallel, they also appear to have replaced the old ‘sheikhly’ consensus systems of their predecessors with something more autocratic, more personalistic, and perhaps even analytically distinct. Moreover, ‘MBS’ and ‘MBZ’, as they are known, are now effectively in ... More

Keywords: statecraft, authority, authoritarianism, autocracy, sultanism, Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, MBS, MBZ

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197586488
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197586488.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher M. Davidson, author
Royal United Services Institute