Due to its regional weight and its enormous oil wealth the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays an increasingly important role on the political map, not only of the Middle East but of the wider world. This book examines the strains and contradictions inside contemporary Saudi Arabia as it pushes to modernise yet retain its conservative character.
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Ulrike Freitag is a historian of the modern Middle East and director of the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin, in conjunction with a professorship of Islamic Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin. She has worked on modern Middle Eastern historiography, on Arab networks in the Indian Ocean realm and currently conducts research on the urban history of Jeddah.
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