Socioeconomics Program

The Socioeconomics Program (previously Unit) was established in 2020. The Program highlights the development of contemporary socioeconomic issues, concepts, and theories. In addition, it aims to study the significance of socioeconomic issues on specific societies and/or constituencies, with emphasis on Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and wider Arab and Muslim worlds. The Program encourages interdisciplinary approaches, encompassing socioeconomic theory, sociopolitics and sociocultural topics and issues in order to provide a broader picture as well as a nuanced analysis of the questions arising from the intersection between economies and societies.



Mark C. Thompson - Program Head

Fahad Alsharif - Senior Research Fellow

Hanaa Almoaibed - Research Fellow 

Naif Alharthi - Associate Fellow 


Hanaa Almoaibed, "Living and Working in Riyadh: Building a City of Global Talent," Masarat, August 2023. 

Mark C. Thompson and Hanaa Almoaibed, "Better Jobs Tomorrow: The Appeal and Increasing Relevance of Alternative Credentials in Saudi Arabia," Dirasat 66, April 2023. 

Mark C. Thompson and Hanaa Almoaibed, "Good Jobs and Bad Jobs”: Employment Attitudes, Perceptions, and Priorities in Saudi Arabia," Dirasat 61, July 2021. 

Fahad L. Alghalib Alsharif, "Kafala Sponsorship Reforms in Saudi Arabia: Converging Toward International Labor Standards," Commentary, February 2021. 

Mark C. Thompson and Hanaa Almoaibed, "Sustainability in Saudi Arabia: The Question of Food," Commentary, November 2020.

Clemens Chay, "The Post-Pandemic Era in the Gulf: Rethinking Migration and Spatial Policies," Special Report, November 2020. (Guest contribution)

Mark C. Thompson, "Ramifications of Coronavirus Disruption to Saudi Education: Student Concerns," Commentary, August 2020.



Workshop: "Human Capital Development in Logistic Services," 30 August 2023, organized by the Ministry of Investment.

Online Panel Discussion: "Attracting Talent in Riyadh: Key Opportunities for Enhanced Competitiveness," 19 June 2023.

Online Discussion: "Better Jobs Tomorrow: The Appeal and Increasing Relevance of Alternative Credentials in Saudi Arabia," 6 June 2023.

Online Panel Discussion: "Saudi Arabia's Future Workforce: 2030 and Beyond," 12 December 2022

Online Panel Discussion: "Vision 2030 and Its Effect on Attitudes and Opportunities: Certifications, Skills, and Lifelong Learning," 21 June 2022.

Panel Discussion (Invitation Only): "The Impact of Vision 2030 on Outlook and Opportunities: Qualifications, Skills, and Lifelong Learning," 14 June 2022.

Public Lecture: "The Revival of Islamic Studies in Europe: Contemporary Trends," 23 May 2022, jointly organized with the Embassy of France.

Online Panel Discussion: "Reconceptualizing the Role of Education in the Arab World," 18 April 2022.

Discussion"Post-pandemic Economic Perspectives in Latin America," 1 December 2021.

Panel Discussion"Social Safety Nets in Saudi Arabia Post-Covid," 25 October 2021.

Panel Discussion: "Discussion: Good Jobs and Bad Jobs" in Saudi Arabia," 20 September 2021.

Conversation: "Good Jobs and Bad Jobs: Employment Attitudes, Perceptions, and Priorities in Saudi Arabia," 13 September 2021.

Conversation: "Education System in Saudi Arabia: Of Change and Reforms," 21 June 2021.

Panel Discussion: "The Effect of COVID-19 on Social Life in Riyadh," 5 April 2021.

Panel Discussion"Driving Investment and Entrepreneurship in the Middle East," 16 March 2021.

Panel Discussion"Documenting Saudi Food Patterns and Styles of Local Consumption," 3 March 2021.

Panel Discussion"Discussion with Najah Al-Otaibi: Religious Education Reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," 12 November 2020.

Panel Discussion: "Sustainability in the Gulf Post-Coronavirus: Shifting Patterns of Consumption in the Fashion, Food and Transportation Sectors," 27 October 2020.

Panel Discussion: "Key Elements of Saudi Social Transformation Post-Coronavirus," 11 August 2020.

Panel Discussion: "Enhancing Technical & Vocational Training in Saudi Arabia," 13 July 2020.

Panel Discussion"Education and Distance Learning in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf During Covid-19 Pandemic," 22 June 2020.

Lecture: Mark C. Thompson, "Being Young, Male and Saudi: Identity and Politics in Globalized Kingdom," 5 May 2020.

Lecture: Mark C. Thompson, "Being Young, Male and Saudi: Identity and Politics in Globalized Kingdom," 8 October 2019.



Society, Education, and Employment in Saudi Arabia

This project aims to examine the critical issues of educational reform and the relevance of these reforms in facilitating entry to the Saudi labor market, given the demographics of Saudi Arabia and the fact that employment is considered the key issue for young Saudis of both genders.

To know more about this project, click here.