yamani31_Ahmad Zaihan bin Amran Shutterstock_saudiarabiamecca Ahmad Zaihan bin Amran/Shutterstock

The Bewildered Kingdom

To the relief of the Saudi royals, the Arab Spring did not lead to the creation of functioning democracies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, or Syria. Still, these countries' popular uprisings did fundamentally undermine the pillars of the old regional system with which the Kingdom was so comfortable.

LONDON – During the three years of political upheaval in the Middle East since the “Arab Spring” began, Saudi Arabia has attempted to maintain its dominant status in the region by any means necessary. In 2013, the Saudi royal family searched for regional allies, and sought – as in Egypt – to restore old allies to power. The Kingdom also used its vast oil wealth to bring about the type of regional stability with which they have been familiar for decades.