Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Game of Sovereignty: A Story of Saudi Beginnings
by Pulliam, Sara, M.A., The George Washington University, 2018, 75; 10743430
Abstract (Summary)

This research project examines the tactics used by Ibn Sa’ud and the officials of the early Saudi State during the years 1922 to 1932—when it existed as the Kingdom of Najd and eventually the Hijaz—to project sovereignty through institutions like the passport, operation of consuls abroad, and claiming various populations as subjects. Ultimately, this project finds that these actions were significant contributors to the formation of Saudi Arabia and establishment of Saudi sovereignty. It adds another explanatory dimension, one not often explored, for understanding the history of the Saudi Kingdom. Moreover, the project shows that the assertiveness of Najdi officials to operate in the name of a sovereign nation forced the British to more clearly articulate their own claims, dispensing with their preferred state of ambiguity, and sometimes causing local officials to establish official British policy on the spot. This combination of British and Najdi action (and reaction) contributed significantly to the overall form and shape of national borders, mobility of individuals, and designation of nationality across the Persian Gulf and in the world writ large. Ibn Sa’ud and his officials were not attempting to enter a game where the rules were already fully established. Rather, they were part of the fabric of individuals and forces that came to make sense of a newly forming international regime of nation-states, nationality, and greater controls on human mobility.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Khoury, Dina
Commitee: McHale, Shawn
School: The George Washington University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 57/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle Eastern history, Middle Eastern Studies, History
Keywords: Borders, British, Najd, Nationality, Passport, Saudi Arabia
Publication Number: 10743430
ISBN: 9780355616026
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