Saudi Arabia’s Very Public, Very Risky Palace Intrigue

Although palace intrigue is often a feature of entrenched systems in which patronage plays an important role in determining who is in favor and who isn’t, what makes the present events in Saudi Arabia particularly surprising is that the monarchy rarely if ever airs its laundry in public. Princelings are privately sidelined and officials quietly demoted. The figurative defenestration of public figures such as Prince Alwaleed bin Talal could be a sign that the crown prince is sending a message to potential rivals to the throne. It also suggests that, if such rivals exist, the young crown prince is consolidating his power to fend them off.

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“Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of Saudi Arabia, giving the sense the kingdom is entering into unchartered waters with unknown consequences,” …

Senior Saudis Arrested in Anti-Corruption Inquiry – The Atlantic