From afar, Saudi Arabia might appear immune to the turmoil and uncertainty engulfing nations such as Syria, Egypt, and Libya. But rather than being an oasis of stability in the Middle East, Karen Elliott House argues that Riyadh is nearing its own crisis point. Despite being one of the region’s most influential political and economic patrons, the kingdom now faces exceptional domestic challenges, including an uncertain leadership succession, a sclerotic economy, and an increasingly young and frustrated society. Externally, it must grapple with the immediate danger of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and broader popular unrest in a region undergoing profound change.
Recorded Monday, December 3, 2012 at the InterContinental Hotel.