Saudi Arabia's foreign aid:The singularity of Yemen as a case study

Bordon Osorio, Javier and Alrefai, Eyad (2023) Saudi Arabia's foreign aid:The singularity of Yemen as a case study. Third World Quarterly. ISSN 0143-6597

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This article examines aid as a foreign policy tool for power and influence. In doing so, it highlights the historical and contemporary Saudi–Yemeni relationship to analyse the different patterns of Saudi aid over the last three decades, including shifts in aid criteria and allocation. The article travels between 1994 and 2022, accounting for domestic, regional and international structures and dynamics that influenced the strategy, direction, scope and sum of Saudi aid. Saudi Arabia’s use of foreign aid as an instrument of political ordering and control is not only governed by the kingdom’s complex and multifaceted relation with Yemen, whose particularities and contingencies call for thorough consideration. Rather, regional and international realities also play a role. All these external influences are mediated by the priorities and perceptions of the Saudi leadership, whose decisions are also affected by elite ­struggles, domestic politics and institutional arrangements, and for whom Yemen invariably represents a source of concern– but also of opportunity. The work embraces a neoclassical realist framework to make sense of how domestic and external shifts redefined and redirected aid as concept and practice.

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Journal Article
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Third World Quarterly
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27 Jul 2023 16:00
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 03:28