The Arab uprisings posed serious challenges to Saudi Arabia at the level of society and leadership. Activists engaged in intense debates, and both real and virtual protest, to which the leadership responded by fighting for security and survival. The uprisings added to the regime's internal succession burdens as Islamists in other Arab countries won seats in elected parliaments. The regime responded by deploying tight security measures at home and adopting three strategies to contain the outcome of the Arab uprisings: containment, counter-revolution and revolution. This article examines the intersections between the local and regional challenges facing Saudi Arabia at a critical historical moment. It demonstrates that Arab revolutions and the empowerment of Islamists in neighbouring Arab countries contribute to Saudi Arabia's losing its unique Islamic credentials. The regime is eager to contain the uprisings in such a way as to remain the sole Islamic model in the region.

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