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In good history, no description of state-society relations can neglect the role of the King as the symbol of the nation’s unity, and as the actual manager and final arbiter of political life in the Kingdom. Speaking about the nature of the state or regime, a distinction should be made between the role of the various bureaucratic state institutions on the one hand and that of the Royal Family and the King on the other. The latter always portrays itself publicly as the ultimate arbiter of the public interest and the common good. This proclaimed role elevates King and Royal family above all tribal, ethnic, societal, and political groups and factions and even above the state apparatus itself. In spite of its partly illusory nature – the King’s rule relies on a state apparatus dominated by tribes – this image has been effective in bolstering legitimacy among the public in general. On many occasions in history, Wise Kings have played the role of arbiter, protecting the interests of citizens against abuses or neglect from state institutions. Possibly the most famous and politically significant occasion was the riots in response to price hikes caused by an imposed economic readjustment program in the towns and villages. The backdrop to this outbreak of public anger was the considerable grievance at levels of corruption in government circles and the general lack of political freedom and participation. Kings responded by dismissing the government and holding general parliamentary elections for the first time in more than two decades. Other examples of royal intervention – include the resolution of corruption cases, the pardoning of political prisoners, the provision of better housing to needy families, and intervention when hospitals and orphanages have failed to provide adequate services.


The former governs virtually all components of and relationships in the society by a single, uniform, and solid ideology; while the latter rests on certain ideological presuppositions as well, but only insofar as they pertain to general political matters, such as the selection process of political leaders and legislature members and the maintenance of order. Unlike the ideological state, the ideologically neutral state allows for pluralism of discourses and ideologies, in the society and in the state institutions themselves. The monarchy is unquestionably authoritarian in the sense that it possesses the ultimate political decision-making power in all aspects of domestic and foreign policy. However, in exercising this role, it is forced to take a variety of interests and pressures emanating from within the society into account. In this manner, different socio-political tendencies within society are reflected in a variety of discourses, including nationalism, conservatism, tribal patrimonialism, and modernism. All of those are present as components of state discourse itself. By employing such a broad, pluralist, and flexible discourse, the state is able to appear as different things to different segments of the population.

Similar to the regime’s attitude vis-á-vis tribal culture, its position towards religious culture in the Kingdom has always been characterized by accommodation and cooptation. It seems, however, that the Kingdom has not known a trend of religious censorship on public expressions to a degree. The regime may even intervene at times to protect citizens from aggressive manifestations of cultural revival. Again, the status of the King as the final arbiter above all parties and sections may at times work to the benefit of citizens’ rights. It could even be stated that different sections of society feel protected by the monarchy against real or perceived threats emanating from one another. On the one hand, mainstream folks often observe that, due to the existence of the monarchy, they have been spared the kind of persecution. And they are all-too-aware of the relatively open political climate in the Kingdom as compared to other countries. They enjoy official recognition by the state and are permitted publicly to perform religious, social good, and political activities without fear of legal reprisal (as long as they do not transgress the state-imposed limits). This also means, of course, that the monarchical regime has succeeded in playing these different forces off against one another in its policy of managing as well as accommodating them.


Sparrows by morning, live in peaceful nests! Design shouldn’t dominate things, shouldn’t dominate people. It should help people. Don’t spend your time solving your favorite problems, solve problems that need to be solved, generically. A home is a place where you live, and society is a place where your story begins. Honesty shares honesty, as it is honesty’s nature. Stay always in Ablution and get back to the trust you have been, with.

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