Abdullah, as Saudi crown prince and king, initiated a number of socio-political reforms to placate the growing concerns over rising radicalism and political discontent. Among these measures were efforts to improve the education system, employment opportunities and women’s rights. Political reforms included expansion of the Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council), municipal elections, national and interfaith dialogues and concessions to Shias, but most important was the formation of the Allegiance Council towards institutionalizing succession. Though not insignificant, these reform initiatives did not considerably advance the possibilities of an inclusive state and society. Hence, his domination of the Saudi political landscape for five decades did not transform into a lasting legacy primarily due to Abdullah’s inability to bring about structural changes within the ruling family and wider society.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.