​​Neil Partrick













Edited by Neil Partrick, the lead contributor, and published by IB Tauris.

"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 )

There is a huge vacuum in the available literature on, or related to, Saudi Arabia’s foreign relations. No other published book in English (or Arabic) provides a comprehensive account of the country’s relations across all four continents and offers 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 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, GCC, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, the Maghreb, Malaysia, Russia, Syria and Lebanon, Turkey, east Asia, south Asia, and East Africa.

Michele Dunne, head of Carnegie’s Middle East Department, and ex-NSC and State (including serving on the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff), says the book is “[t]errific as a reference and also a good read.”

An online review by Saudi scholar Dr Ben Rich of Curtin University, Perth was posted on the Interpreter section of the Lowy Institute's website on December 6, 2016. Read it here .

The 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 by Neil Partrick


In April 2017 Sada, the online Middle Eastern analysis journal of the Washington DC institute, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, published Neil Partrick'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 my 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.”

On February 12 2016, Sada published a piece by Neil Partrick on Saudi Arabia's problematic allies in Yemen.

On October 2 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'.” The original version is under My Blog posts on this website.

Neil write 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