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Political Economy

The Political Economy Unit was created in 2017. The Unit covers a range of key issues concerning the political economy of Saudi Arabia, including energy, economic diversification, labor market, human capital development, and Saudi Arabia's economic relations with other countries. The Energy Studies Unit, which existed between 2015 and 2016, has been merged into this Unit.

Contact: myamada@kfcris.com


Makio Yamada, "How Did Japan Achieve a 1% Unemployment Rate?: Facilitating the Education-to-Employment Transition", Dirasat, February 2018.

Mark C. Thompson, "Addressing the Key Challenges Facing the 'Entrepreneurial Streak' in Young Saudis", Commentary, January 2018.

Othman Almazyad, "Reasons for the Continuity of Long-Lasting Japanese Companies", Special Report, December 2017. (Arabic only)

Faris Al-Sulayman, "Distributed Renewables and the Shaping of the New Saudi Economy", Commentary, December 2017.

Makio Yamada, "King Salman's Visit to Tokyo: In Search of New Concepts for Saudi-Japanese Relations", Commentary, May 2017.

Mark C. Thompson, "Youth Perceptions of 'Uneven Globalization' in Saudi Arabia", Commentary, April 2017.

Makio Yamada, "Saudi Vision 2030 and the Transformation of Saudi-Japanese Economic Relations", Special Report, January 2017.

Noura Al Saud and Mashael Al-Shalan, "A New Price Era in a Time of Climate Action: Towards a Resilient and Responsive Saudi Economy", Commentary, 2016.

Noura Al Saud, "Addressing Claims on Saudi Arabia's Oil Market Motivations", Commentary, 2015.


Dr. Makio Yamada, Research Fellow (Head of the Unit)
Current research theme: Education-to-employment transition in Saudi Arabia

Faris Al-Sulayman, Research Fellow
Current research theme: State-business relations in Saudi Arabia

Amal Altwaijri, Assistant Researcher
Current research theme: Climate change, green finance, and Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Baras, Assistant Researcher
Current research theme: Current developments in Saudi-American relations

Dr. Mark C. Thompson, Senior Associate Fellow
Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Dr. Sadad Al-Husseini, Honorary Fellow
Founder and President, Husseini Energy / Former Executive Vice President, Saudi Aramco

Past Fellows

Othman Almazyad, Research Fellow, 2017 (currently at the Asian Studies Unit)

Noura bint Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, Head of Energy Studies Unit, 2015-16



Lecture: Steffen Hertog (London School of Economics), "Can We Saudize the Labor Market without Damaging the Private Sector?", 12 December 2017.

Workshop: "Vision 2030: Opportunities and Challenges", Brussels, 1 December 2017 (co-hosted with the European Council on Foreign Relations).

Book Launch: Mark C. Thompson & Neil Quilliam, "Policy-Making in the GCC: State, Citizens and Institutions", 8 November 2017.

Lecture: Mark C. Thompson, "Being Young Male, and Saudi: Identity and Politics in a Globalized Kingdom", 20 April 2017.

Lecture: Makio Yamada, "The Political Economy of East Asia-Saudi Arabia Relations", University of Hong Kong, 13 March 2017 (in collaboration with the Asian Studies Unit).

2016 (Energy Studies Unit)

Lecture: Steffen Hertog (London School of Economics), "Why Are Gulf Rulers So Generous to Their Populations?: Historical Reasons and Current Consequences", 17 May 2016.

Lecture: Jason Bordoff (Columbia University), "Oil Price Collapse and Changing Energy Landscape: US Perspectives and Implications for Saudi Arabia", 13 April 2016.

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King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
P.O. Box: 51049
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Email Address: kfcris@kfcris.com

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