Saudi Arabia: Opposing Democracy at Home and Abroad


Since the onset of the Arab Spring, the authorities in Saudi Arabia have pursued an increasingly repressive course, seeking to maintain the status quo in an environment where expectations are markedly changing. In this context, Saudi Arabia faces a series of daunting challenges, including high youth unemployment, an education system ill-suited to meet the needs of a modern economy, an inability to diversify from a hydrocarbon-reliant economic system, and the growth of political extremism. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is taking a more active role in the Middle East in an effort to tamp down nascent reform movements and in response to challenges from Iran, its principal rival in the region.

Join a discussion with three leading experts who will discuss the key issues relating to Saudi Arabia’s opposition to democracy within and beyond its borders.

Sponsored by the International Forum for Democratic Studies


Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

Karen Elliott-House, Author, On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines-and Future

Jean-François Seznec, Visiting Associate Professor, Georgetown University

moderated by

Christopher Walker, Executive Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies

When and Where

Monday, September 22 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. National Endowment for Democracy 1025 F. Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. RSVP (acceptances only)with name and affiliation by Thursday, September 18. Twitter: Follow @ThinkDemocracy and use #NEDEvents to join the conversation.

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