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Saudi Arabia on the road to modernization: reality or myth?

Araks Pashayan

vol. VIII(1)

Pages 34-44

Abstract: In June 2017, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has appointed his

son Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS), as crown prince

replacing his nephew, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef1, as first in line to

the throne. King Salman bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, a son of King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz

Аl Saud the founder of Saudi Arabia, acceded to the throne in January

2015 after the death of his half-brother Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz.

Mohammed bin Salman is currently serving as the country's deputy

prime minister (the title of prime minister being held by the King) and

is also chairman of the Council for economic and development affairs,

chairman of the Council of political and security affairs, and minister of

defence. In 2016 Mohammed bin Salman set out a possibly overambitious

development plan "Saudi Vision 2030". Bin Salman’s

progressive advancement was suggesting that the matter of succession

in Saudi Arabia was already resolved, and that King Salman intends to

surmount the possible royal intrigues and fierce competition to make his

son King of Saudi Arabia. Prince Mohammed bin Salman could,

potentially, lead Saudi Arabia for decades.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, reforms, moderate Islam, Iran, Shi’ism,

Wahhabism, ultra conservatism, religious fundamentalism, human


Araks Pashayan
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