Authoritarian Reformism in Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the Vision 2030 initiative in 2015 signalled the intent of the new administration of King Salman to initiate substantial macroeconomic and social transformation and break the system of intense rentierism that has defined its civil-state relations for generations (Krimly, 1993). Drivers for such reforms are numerous, but at their core is safeguarding the monarchy’s authoritarian hold on power against domestic challenges as it declines as a welfare provider. This is a formidable challenge for any regime in the best of times.