Saudi Arabia as a Resurgent Regional Power
Ever since the 1980s, the MENA subsystem has been weakening under the weight of persistent inter-state conflict, violent non-state and sub-state actor incursions, and intense competition for influence and geopolitical advantage amongst its core states. Furthermore, a domino-like collapse of autocratic regimes across the Arab region after 2010 heralded an unprecedented level of disorder, insecurity and chaos. Regional disorder and the general crisis of the state in the Arab region has aggravated regional fragmentation and has at the same time emboldened Saudi Arabia and a small group of its neighbours to adopt a more interventionist, and at times belligerent foreign policy posture. The region’s changing dynamics provide the backdrop for closer analysis of Saudi responses to the regional crisis, which itself has been shaped by the changing of the guard in the Kingdom in 2015. The change is marked by an intensification of Saudi activism and a deepening of its role as a resurgent regional power.
Keywords: Saudi Arabia, MENA, regional disorder, intervention, resurgent power