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6 - Conclusion

Civil Society Activism and Everyday Islam in Saudi Arabia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2022

Nora Derbal
Affiliation:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Summary

The final chapter summarizes the major findings of the book along two perspectives.

First, the book shows that the study of civil society under authoritarianism needs to take a bottom-up approach that pays attention to local issues and gives a voice to the people engaged for the public good and for the local community. At its heart, the debate about civil society in Saudi Arabia is about the difference between agency and sovereignty. Saudi Arabia is a country in which the population profoundly lacks popular sovereignty. Yet ordinary men and women in Saudi Arabia – young and old; social activists, philanthropists, and social workers; Saudis and non-Saudis – do have agency.

Second, the analysis shows that where the public social welfare system of the state has failed or systematically excluded specific segments of the population, charity organizations have tried to meet some of the needs of marginalized groups. Sometimes this transgresses the policies set down by the state; sometimes they complement or occasionally work together with the state. The meaning of charity has been subject to debate and scrutiny. Charity is a constantly evolving, contested field, in which numerous actors engage – often highly critical of each other and with competing approaches.

Type
Chapter
Information
Charity in Saudi Arabia
Civil Society under Authoritarianism
, pp. 295 - 306
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Conclusion
  • Nora Derbal
  • Book: Charity in Saudi Arabia
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009072656.006
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  • Conclusion
  • Nora Derbal
  • Book: Charity in Saudi Arabia
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009072656.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conclusion
  • Nora Derbal
  • Book: Charity in Saudi Arabia
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009072656.006
Available formats
×