​​Neil Partrick

"Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict & Cooperation", for which Neil Partrick was the lead contributor, is published by  IB Tauris . A second (paperback) edition will be published by IB Tauris in April 2018.

"As a well-written, insightful and deeply analytical endeavour, Partrick's book can and should be considered the seminal text on Saudi foreign policy." ( Ben Rich, "The Interpreter", Lowy Institute, December 6, 2016 ).

An online review by Saudi scholar Dr Ben Rich of Curtin University, Perth, from which the above quote was taken, was posted on the Interpreter section of the Lowy Institute's website in December 2016. You can read it by clicking  here.

Neil Partrick decided to produce this book because of the huge vacuum in literature on Saudi Arabia’s foreign relations. Prior to the publication of "Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict & Cooperation", no other published book in English (or Arabic) had provided a comprehensive account of the country’s relations across all four continents and offered a largely country-focused analysis of those relations. 

At the US book launch, held at the AGSIW in March 2016, the respected US Middle Eastern scholar Hussein Ibish said:

“[I]t fills a yawning gap in the literature on the strategic equation in the Middle East and in terms of Saudi foreign policy in particular.” He added that the book is “terrific,” and concluded by saying that “[we] owe Mr Partrick a big debt of gratitude.”

"Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy" is aimed at the general reader of Middle Eastern politics, or journalists or researchers eager to improve their understanding of Saudi Arabia and its approach to foreign relations. Equally, students of IR, international politics or area studies will find this a useful guide through the maze of a complex country’s complex foreign relations.

Neil Partrick is the book's editor, and the author of 13 of the 21 chapters. Other contributors include Mohd Abu Hussin, Mark Katz, Mohammed El-Katiri, Yon Machmudi, Robert Mason, Menno Preuschaft, Neil Quilliam, Rene Rieger and Harry Verhoeven.

There are seperate chapters on 
The Drivers of Foreign Policy, Islam and Foreign Policy, and Energy and Foreign Relations; and individual chapters on Saudi Arabia's relations with the USA, Europe, Egypt, the GCC, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, the Maghreb, Malaysia, Russia, and Syria/Lebanon, Turkey, east Asia, south Asia, and east Africa.

Michele Dunne, head of Carnegie’s Middle East Department, and an ex-NSC and State senior staffer, says the book is “[t]errific as a reference and also a good read.”

The book was reviewed by Dr Gerd Nonneman in the June 2017 edition of the Journal of Arabian Studies. In what is, overall, a very positive assessment, Dr Nonneman wrote that it "...offers the sort of detailed survey and assessment of bilateral relations between the Kingdom and key players in the regional and global system, that has not thus far been available elsewhere." Nonneman argued that "Notable lacunae are Latin America and Africa (other than the Horn), but also more systemic/thematic foreign policy foci..." However he stressed that what is in the book is "[d]etailed, well-sourced, balanced information and comment, (that) should be extremely useful for policy makers, journalists or more academically oriented readers." Nonneman added that the "[A]nalysis is underpinned by a balanced appreciation of the limits and challenges, alongside the tools and room for manoeuvre, characterising Saudi Arabia’s evolving foreign policy universe.The brief background to, and often first-hand detail on the recent content of, the bilateral relationships depicted, will usefully feed into any future work on Saudi foreign policy."

Subscribers to the Journal of Arabian Studies can read the whole review via this link. The first page of the review is freely accessible.

The "Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict & Cooperation" book was reviewed in the November 2016 edition of International Affairs by a Chatham House visiting fellow, Dr Kristian Coates Ulrichsen. Members of Chatham House (aka the Royal Institute of International Affairs) can read it via this link .

The book was also reviewed by Dr Simon Mabon in the Autumn 2016 edition of the Washington-based Middle East Institute publication, The Middle East Journal. Subscribers to the MEJ can read it via this link . Neil Partrick contested the accuracy of a criticism made by Dr Mabon of the book, and MEJ published Neil Partrick's letter of complaint. You can read the published letter  here.

Video of Neil Partrick (and other panel members) speaking at the book launch of "Saudi Foreign Policy" at AGSIW in Washington DC, March 2016

 Articles and papers 

Neil Partrick's paper on the "New Saudi Foreign Policy" (presented at the Middle East Institute/National University of Singapore conference on Saudi Arabia in December 2016) was updated in November 2017. You can read the updated version by opening the PDF below.

In October 2017 Neil Partrick visited the UAE and privately presented a paper on "Nationhood and Citizenship - in the UAE and the Gulf ". You can read it by opening this link to the PDF. 

In December 2017, Sada, the online Middle Eastern analysis journal of the Washington DC institute, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, published Neil's latest analysis on Saudi/UAE policy in Yemen, “The Saudi & Emirati Conundrum after Saleh”.

In October 2017 Sada published Neil Partrick's analysis of UAE policy in Yemen under the title "The UAE's War Aims in Yemen". You can read it by clicking  here .

In April 2017 Sada published Neil's analysis of the Saudi-US security relationship under the heading "Counterproductive US-Saudi security ties".  It argues that the Saudi-US joint goal of containing Iran and Sunni armed militants may, paradoxically, be set back by their approach. It also notes, however, that the incipient Saudi-Emirati naval competition in the Red Sea area may constrain an overuse of military force to resolve the Yemen question. You can read the version on their website by clicking here .

In March 2017 the IB Tauris blog published Neil's article "Saudi Arabia & the Trump Administration: A Marriage of Mutual Convenience". You can read it here

On November 10 2016 Sada published a feature on then President-elect Trump's prospective Mid-East policies. It included an opinion piece by Neil on the implications for Yemen of a Trump presidency. You can read it, and a host of other pundits' assessments of the prospective impact of President Trump on other Middle Eastern countries/issues, here .

On September 9 2016, Carnegie Endowment's online Sada journal published a debate on Saudi policy in Yemen that included Neil Partrick's analysis.

Neil Partrick’s article “Why the US-Saudi defense and security relationship will remain firm” was published October 14 2016 on the website of the American magazine, The National Interest. The strapline read: “It may be a dysfunctional marriage, but it’s definitely not heading for a divorce.” The article opens: “There is much apocalyptical talk about the ultimate Obama legacy being the death of the United States’ oldest strategic relationship in the Middle East. On this analysis the United States is exiting the region, while capital flight and fear of Iran leads the Saudis to get into bed with Russia, China or just about anybody going.”

In February 2016, Sada published a piece by Neil Partrick on Saudi Arabia's problematic allies in Yemen.

In October 2015 Sada published an opinion piece by Neil on the Saudi military and political role in Yemen. It was entitled "Saudi Arabia's Yemen Gambit", and is available online in both English and Arabic.

Neil had an Op-Ed published online by the Arabian Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW) on 11 September 2015. Entitled “Saudi Arabia: A War on All Fronts?”, it concerned external and internal Saudi security threats and the measures the Kingdom is taking to tackle them.

Araby Al-Jadeed’s online English language sister publication Al-Araby reprinted a blog piece originally written and published by Neil Partrick on his own website. Al-Araby published it on September 9 2015 under the title “Cameron's extra-judicial killing of Britons raises legal questions”. It carried the sub-head “Cameron said that British IS fighters were targeted in a drone strike 'in self-defence'.” 

Neil wrote a piece for Open Democracy in mid-2013 entitled ‘Turkey: looking east and west’.

Neil Partrick has had three research papers published by the LSE:

“Saudi Arabia and Jordan: Friends in Adversity”, Kuwait Programme on Globalisation, Governance and Development in the Gulf, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), July 2013

“The GCC: Gulf State Integration or Leadership Cooperation”, Kuwait Programme on Globalisation, Governance and Development in the Gulf, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), November 2011

“Nationalism in the Gulf States”, Kuwait Programme on Globalisation, Governance and Development in the Gulf, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), October 2009
New Saudi Foreign Policy - Neil Partrick
Nationhood & Citizenship in the Gulf - Neil Partrick