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Title: Constitutionalism, constitutionalisation and legitimacy: reforming Al-Shura Council law in Saudi Arabia
Authors: Al Harbi, Bandar Eid
Advisors: Korotana S
Keywords: Deliberative democracy;Human rights;Normative democracy;Theories of cooperation;Arab spring
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Saudi Arabia is being challenged by increasing demands for democratic reform. Although many Saudi citizens desire such change, in order to maintain stability, dramatic and rapid reform is not considered prudent. Nor is the adoption of a Western model of democracy seen as a way forward. Indeed, such a shift would be counterproductive for most Islamic nations. A more measured approach, introducing reforms that build on traditional Islamic democratic ideals, would help to maintain stability and legitimacy for the various stakeholders involved. Consequently, attention has been turned to the ‘Majlis Al Shura’ or the Al-Shura Council, an Islamic Advisory Council that ensures policies and laws follow the principles of Islam. Shura, developed from the Holy Quran, is an ancient practice that has profound significance in Arab culture and history. It provides a framework which ensures scholars and experts from a variety of backgrounds are consulted on issues related to governance. Currently, the role the members play in governance of the Saudi State is decided by the King, who appoints individuals to the Council according to their perceived suitability. However, the Saudi Arabian Al-Shura Council is a highly respected institution. Allowing citizens to elect members, rather than having the King holding the authority to appoint them, would not only be well received, but would create a more effective check on governmental power, help satisfy the demand for more citizen input into public affairs, and pave the way for future, more substantial reform, if desired by Saudi society.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Law
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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