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Comparative Grand StrategyA Framework and Cases$
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Thierry Balzacq, Peter Dombrowski, and Simon Reich

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198840848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198840848.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

(p.239) 11 Saudi Arabia
Comparative Grand Strategy

Ghaidaa Hetou

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates the formulation, implementation, and consistency of Saudi Arabia’s grand strategy since 1979. It examines how internal and regional factors influenced that strategy through the optic of a series of critical regional turning points, often overlain by shifting US debates on the Kingdom’s regional role. The chapter delineates why Saudi elites prioritize certain long-term objectives, how they perceive threats, and why they respond in specific ways. Its guiding conceptual framework is informed by four elements: the Kingdom’s dominant strategic culture, its political system, perception of national security, and regional alliance formations. The chapter demonstrates how the current Saudi establishment’s ability to sustain a grand strategy—primarily a regional role—is closely linked to its economic power, financial solvency, and internal stability.

Keywords:   Saudi Arabia, Iran, Islamic Revolution, Qatar, strategic culture, alliances, security

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