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1 - Introduction

Civil Society Theory, Charity, and Inequality 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 first chapter posits the book’s approach in the context of dominant ideas about civil society in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is widely considered an authoritarian state with little space for any civil initiative to maneuver in or to flourish. The rentier state paradigm, which has dominated much of the discussion of state–society relations in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, assumes that the oil-rich state buys its citizens’ acquiescence through the strategic investment of hydrocarbon revenues into welfare and high living standards. Yet Saudi Arabia’s growing wealth gap challenges these assumptions.

This book presents a different perspective from which to view and understand Saudi Arabian society, not from a top-down vantage point but "bottom-up," from the point of view of local civil society initiatives. The chapter introduces the four charity organizations that form the basis of the book’s analysis. Given the difficulties of field research in Saudi Arabia, the chapter discusses opportunities and challenges that this project faced and how these contributed to the research design and findings.

Type
Chapter
Information
Charity in Saudi Arabia
Civil Society under Authoritarianism
, pp. 1 - 38
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Introduction
  • Nora Derbal
  • Book: Charity in Saudi Arabia
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009072656.001
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  • Introduction
  • Nora Derbal
  • Book: Charity in Saudi Arabia
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009072656.001
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.

  • Introduction
  • Nora Derbal
  • Book: Charity in Saudi Arabia
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009072656.001
Available formats
×