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Ex aequo

Print version ISSN 0874-5560

Abstract

CERIOLI, Luiza. Driving in the middle of the road: Paradoxes of women's role under the New Saudi Arabian Nationalism. Ex aequo [online]. 2019, n.40, pp.49-64. ISSN 0874-5560.  http://dx.doi.org/10.22355/exaequo.2019.40.04.

King Salman and prince Mohammad bin Salman yearn to shift Saudi Arabia away from oil dependency via the project Vision 2030, which includes a set of liberalisations for women, such as legalisation of driving and economic empowerment. Topics related to women have been a taboo to Saudi society; thus, it is interesting to understand their role in these reforms and their negotiation of rights within the state. I argue that these reforms are not politically liberalising, as they do not rearrange the patriarchal structure. Moreover, they walk in line with a top-down nationalist project that excludes and arrests, among others, female activists that previously fought for the right to drive, stressing the limitations on women's freedom under Salman's rule.

Keywords : Saudi Arabia; international status; Vision 2030; nationalism; autocratic liberalization.

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