Saudi Arabia and Iran

The struggle to shape the Middle East

Edited by Simon Mabon and Edward Wastnidge

Saudi Arabia and Iran
Hardcover -
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526150837
  • Publish Date: Nov 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Since 1979, the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran - the two major powers in the Muslim world - has played a prominent role in shaping Middle Eastern politics. Political in nature yet couched in Islamic rhetoric, this rivalry reflects a desire to ensure regime security and legitimacy while also increasing influence across the Middle East. Since the 2003 Iraq War, the relationship has become increasingly vitriolic, resulting in the emergence of proxy conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. This book argues that to understand regional politics, comprehension of the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran is essential.

    An electronic version of this book is available under a creative commons licence:


    'This is an impressive volume in its scope and its ability to capture nuance in a relationship that is often subject to generalisations and simplified analysis. Wastnidge and Mabon have assembled a solid group of scholars who have managed to make an important and original contribution to a topic that has lately been studied a great deal. I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in a serious understanding of the complex relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran.'
    Mehran Kamrava, Professor of Government, Georgetown University Qatar

    'Not only does this volume provide a fascinating account of how the Saudi-Iranian rivalry has played out across time and space and impacted regional and domestic politics across the Middle East. It also shows how a stronger dialogue between IR theory and Middle East studies can offer insights into Middle East politics that go beyond the well-known politics v. piety debate.'
    Morten Valbjørn, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University


    Introduction - Simon Mabon and Edward Wastnidge
    1 The view from Riyadh: a neoclassical realist perspective of Saudi foreign policy toward Iran in the post-2011 Middle East - May Darwich
    2 Narratives of power politics in the Iran-Saudi relationship: the view from Tehran - Banafsheh Keynoush and Edward Wastnidge
    3 Competing Islams: religious legitimacy and the foreign policies of Saudi Arabia and Iran - Lucia Ardovini
    4 The Iran-Saudi Arabia rivalry: rekindling of Shi'a Loyalty and Sunni' fears in Bahrain - Rashed al-Rasheed
    5 Iraq and the evolution of Saudi-Iranian relations - Stephen Royle and Simon Mabon
    6 The irreplaceable piece: Lebanon's strategic value in the Saudi-Iranian foreign policy chessboard - Hussein Kalout
    7 Capability and culpability: Iranian and Saudi rivalry in the Syria conflict - Christopher Phillips
    8 Delegation or intervention: Yemen as a theatre for the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia - Maria-Louise Clausen
    9 Conclusion - Edward Wastnidge and Simon Mabon


    Edward Wastnidge is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the Open University

    Simon Mabon is Chair of International Politics at Lancaster University

    Saudi Arabia and Iran

    Edited by Simon Mabon, Edward Wastnidge

    Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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