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The three major neighboring states of the Arabian Peninsula – Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen – make for strange bedfellows. They are governed by three very different systems with very different results, caking into question how their internal policies affect regional relations and vice versa. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, a prosperous, religious and restrictive state generally considered secure but facing problems of increasing social unrest. Oman is a small, thriving, stable sultanate, modernized and moderate but tightly controlled; and the republic of Yemen, which has the region’s poorest economy, has still not shrugged off the legacy of its turbulent modern history. Each state adheres to a different Islamic sect, moreover, and through their populations are overwhelmingly Arab, differing tribal structure result in widely variant effects on the political process in their respective system. Each state has also had extensive historical relationships with the Ottoman and British empires, the US and Russia, and these too have coloured regional relations. Recent events like the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the American-led invasion of Iraq have also influenced these states’ internal policy decisions, further affecting their dealings with one another and at with the world at large. Manea examines each country in detail, from state formation to current affairs and from local to national government.
Publisher: SAQI BOOKS