International Lecture Series #3: Saudi Arabia – A Problematic Ally?

Location: The Forum, Santa Fe University of Art & Design, 1600 St. Michael’s Drive

Lecture Title: Saudi Arabia – A Problematic Ally?

Speaker: Toby Jones

Saudi Arabia is the world’s major oil producer, which means that the U.S., being highly dependent on foreign oil, is highly dependent on Saudi Arabia. But the Kingdom is a conservative absolute monarchy that fosters radical Islam around the world. With the current unrest in the Arab World can Saudi Arabia remain stable? What if not? What will result?

Toby Jones is a historian of the modern Middle East. His interests are varied. Jones’s scholarship focuses primarily on the political intersections between science, technology, the environment, knowledge production, and the state formation, war, and Islamism. Before joining the history department at Rutgers University, Jones taught at Swarthmore College. During the 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University’s Oil, Energy and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 he worked as the political analyst of the Persian Gulf for the International Crisis Group where he wrote about political reform and sectarianism.

Jones is author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia, forthcoming in the fall 2010 with Harvard University Press. He is currently working on a new book project America’s Oil Wars also to be published by Harvard University Press. Jones has published articles in The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Report, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy’s online magazine, the Arab Reform Bulletin, Strategic Insights, and the CTC Sentinel.

He has presented his work at the annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Historical Association, the Society for the History of Technology, the International Studies Association, and the American Political Science Association. He also presented his research and political analysis at Cornell University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, New York University, Princeton University, Syracuse University, The College of New Jersey, and Yale University.

At Rutgers Jones teaches courses on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the modern Middle East, oil, the environment in the Middle East, and war and revolution in Iran and Iraq.

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