Is Saudi Arabia a Theocracy? Religion and Governance in Contemporary Saudi Arabia

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37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes and explains the relationships between religion and government in contemporary Saudi Arabia. It discusses the extent to which religion is practically involved in politics and governance by examining the mechanisms of domination, the actual relationships between religious scholars (‘ulama’) and rulers (umara’), and the means by which authority is actually implemented. The current Saudi regime, I would suggest, is best described as a theo-monarchy, that draws power from longstanding religio-cultural norms. In this context, Wahhabi Islam seems to authorize a distinctive government paradigm, one not yet recognized by the relevant Islamic literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-737
Number of pages17
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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