Chapter 9: Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest economies in West Asia. In terms of the purchasing power parity measure, Saudi Arabian GDP approximates to 1 trillion US dollars. It is a geographically large country, occupying about 80 per cent of the Arabian Peninsula. With a population of about 29 million, Saudi Arabia is sparsely populated, having an average population density of 12 persons per square kilometre. Saudi Arabia’s contemporary political and economic history can be traced to its foundation as an absolute monarchy by Abdul-Aziz bin Saud in 1932. Saudi Arabia remains today a standard absolute monarchy with the government claiming religious authority to impose a theocratic conservatism upon society. Although Saudi Arabia has maintained social and political stability since the 1930s, there is an undercurrent social and political tension in a rapidly changing economic and political environment. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim-majority country whose governance is executed by a combination of the monarchy and a legal system that largely implements the Islamic law and traditions (shariah). The King acts as the custodian of the two Islamic holy mosques in Makkah and Madina. Together with the fact that it is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, Saudi Arabia consequently plays an important role in the Muslim world and is accorded special status by Muslims across the globe.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.