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THE WELFARE STATE IN SAUDI ARABIA: STRUCTURE, DYNAMICS, AND FUNCTION

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posted on 2023-09-06, 02:57 authored by Yousef A. Uthaimeen

Probably one of the most salient phenomena in the modern history of Saudi Arabia is the emergence and dramatic expansion of its welfare state. In the course of a half century, it has become an integral part of the institutional framework of that nation. It accounts for more than 50 percent of the state public expenditures, and its programs touch a large section of the Saudi citizens. Yet contemporary Middle Eastern scholars seem to ignore it, make a passing reference to it, or at best subsume it under their discussions of economic development, not treating it as a distinct area of research. This dissertation, therefore, is an attempt to systematically analyze, interpret, and explain the emergence and expansion of the welfare state phenomenon in Saudi Arabia. It explores in some detail its origin, structure, dynamics, organization, finance, function, and transformation over a period of time. This analysis is informed by the theoretical insights put forth by the Political Budget Model. For the most part, the wide range of quantitative data made available by the government, the historical works done by native and foreign social historians who lived through the various historical periods of Saudi Arabia, and the scholarly statements, comments, and works of contemporary Middle Eastern scholars are drawn upon. This study concluded that the ideas expounded by the conventional approaches to the welfare state are of little value as a means of analyzing and understanding the welfare state phenomenon in Saudi Arabia. Their emphasis on the "logic of industrialism" and the "notion of citizenship", as well as their conception of the role of the state runs contrary to all the evidence presented here. A more dynamic and useful approach to the welfare state in Saudi Arabia is to analyze and interpret it in terms of three pressing issues which faced the state in the last fifty years: integration, legitimation, and maintenance of social stability. These issues have shaped the various stages through which the welfare state in Saudi Arabia has passed.

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American University

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English

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Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 47-12, Section: A, page: 4523.; Ph.D. American University 1986.; English

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:2250

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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