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Counter-Terrorism in Saudi Arabia: Narratives, Practices and Challenges

AlMaawi, Mohammad (2016) Counter-Terrorism in Saudi Arabia: Narratives, Practices and Challenges. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, Criminology. (KAR id:54562)

Language: English
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Since 9/11, both in the Middle East and worldwide, the academic, political and religious focus on extreme radicalisation has intensified. The attacks carried out in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by Al-Qaeda in 2003, motivated a succession of bombings within and outside of the Kingdom. These events have led to a plethora of general and specific studies to understand the phenomenon of extremism.

This thesis investigates radicalisation in Saudi Arabia since 2001, focusing on the impact of Al-Qaeda and its impact on individuals and the state. It specifically focuses on the role of the Mohammed bin Naif Centre for Counselling, Rehabilitation and Care, in this context referred to as ‘the Centre’, analysing its function as a tool for the ‘soft power’ strategy that has been initiated by the Saudi Arabian Government, intended to de-radicalise individuals who are perceived by the state to have been misled.

The study uses a detailed literature review to unpack the historical trends regarding the origins of Saudi Arabia, the political differences therein, as well as the different religious interpretations which are attributed as being a root cause of discontent which thereby leads to radicalisation and violent extremism in the region. In this thesis, I trace the various schools of thought regarding the treatment of religion and governance in relation to local and international politics, and how this impacts upon the radicalisation of individuals.

A Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS) approach is used to highlight the need to view studies on security from a reflexive perspective, both in the researcher and the researched subject matter, namely the terrorist organisations and the governments against which they are fighting. The concept of governance is analysed and how this either precipitates or prevents dissent that results in violence.

In addition, the political and religious solutions to radicalisation are assessed, with a specific focus on the de-radicalisation process, as reflected through a qualitative research on the views and thinking of the practitioners working in the Centre. In this context, I investigate the motives, roles, responsibilities and strategies used in executing their roles, with the aim of seeking possible explanations for the causes of radicalisation and the challenges faced in de-radicalising individuals. Their views are used to form the main basis for the data for this research.

This study should be of interest to politicians, security experts, academics, religious leaders, Islamic scholars and interested individuals. It will be a valuable contribution towards an understanding of the causes, consequences and possible solutions to addressing Islamic extremism and radicalisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cottee, Simon
Thesis advisor: Hayward, Keith
Uncontrolled keywords: Saudi Arabia, Counter-Terrorism, Terrorism, Extremism, Radicalisation, De-radicalisation, the Mohammed bin Naif Centre for Counselling, Rehabilitation and Care, Politics, Security, Religion, Al-Qaeda, Soft Power, Case Study.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF51 Psychology and Religion
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D203 Modern History, 1453-
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Utopias. Anarchism
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 14:00 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 07:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

AlMaawi, Mohammad.

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