Saudi Arabia has often been declared a “democracy blocker” and “counter-revolutionary” force in the Middle East and North Africa. This assumption should be challenged with a more nuanced understanding of Saudi foreign policy that goes beyond a narrative of “good democracy promoters” and “bad democracy blockers” for the region.  Understanding that Saudi foreign policy is an elite-led enterprise that is “interest driven” rather than ideologically tied to a Wahhabi ideology allows for more nuance to emerge.

Oz Hassan is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Politics and International Studies Department at the University of Warwick. Oz Hassan is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), an associate at LSE Ideas on the United States International Affairs Programme, and a former visiting scholar on the Democracy and Rule of Law programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington D.C.

Khalid Gueddar (Rabat, °1975) studied plastic arts in Paris. He is the man behind Morocco’s first satirical website www.baboubi.com and the weekly satirical newspaper Baboubi. He was awarded the “Humour Vache” prize at the salon international de dessin de presse (International Salon of Caricature, Editorial and Gag Cartoons) in Saint-Juste-le-Martel. His caricatures of the Moroccan Royal Palace meant Gueddar was banned from publishing his drawings in Demain Magazine and Doumane. He was also sentenced to 3 months in prison in Kenitra because of his drawings.