In the News: Ezzedine Fishere

In a "Washington Post" opinion piece, the senior lecturer in Middle Eastern studies writes about the myth of "enlightened despots" and the problems that keep Arab states fragile. Despotism, "even that which purports to be 
enlightened, only exacerbates them," he writes.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS), is no less ambitious. His Vision 2030 program seeks to move the Saudi economy away from oil dependence and turn the country into a hub for technology and trade. He has changed the face of Saudi cities, ended the ban on women's driving, decimated the power of the morality police and brought artistic production into the country. He recently announced a radical revision of the way in which Saudi Arabia interprets Islamic Law, breaking with the Wahhabi orthodoxy.

It would be foolish to dismiss these reforms as irrelevant. However, it would be equally foolish to see them as building blocks for modern, functioning states. They are not.

Please click on the following link for the Washington Post.