Saudi Arabia: Civil Society and Natural Resource Management

  • Mark C. Thompson


The 2014–2016 oil price collapse necessitated changes in Saudi government policy. As this chapter notes, despite the limitations placed on technocrats by the existing political system, their elevation to major decision-making positions, also in the energy sector, appears to signify an attempt at greater inclusiveness in policymaking. The McKinsey consultancy, which advises the Saudi government, has argued that all stakeholders—including the private sector, foreign investors and private households—will need to be involved in national development. The key issue here is whether the government is willing to open its decision-making processes further, also within the energy sector, to stakeholders who are qualified and prepared to contribute to the overall national development of the Kingdom. The question is how far this process will proceed. As the impact of the low oil price has started to hurt the individual Saudi’s pocket, the issue of who makes the major decisions, especially as regards resource governance and the Kingdom’s distributive system, is increasingly discussed widely in Saudi society.


Saudi Arabia Natural resources Oil Gas Petroleum governance Civil society Decision-making 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark C. Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Middle East StudiesKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic StudiesRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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