Mark C. Thompson

Political Economy

Dr. Thompson was appointed a Senior Associate Fellow and Head of the Socioeconomic Unit in April 2020. He has been affiliated with KFCRIS for several years. Previously, Dr. Thompson was Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). Before joining KFUPM in 2012, he taught at Prince Sultan University and the Saudi Arabian National Guard School of Signals. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, the University of Exeter.

In October 2019, he published his most recent book “Being Young Male and Saudi: Identity and Politics in a Globalized Kingdom” (Cambridge University Press). He is currently completing an edited volume “Domestic Policy Making and Governance in Saudi Arabia” with Dr. Neil Quilliam, Chatham House, UK.


Publications at KFCRIS

"How Do Young Saudis View Skills for Future Jobs?", Special Report, 2019

“What Can Be Done to Align the Skills and Expectations of Saudi Students with Employer Requirements? Commentary with Makio Yamada, 2019

“Addressing the Key Challenges Facing the ‘Entrepreneurial Streak’ in Young Saudis”, Commentary, 2018.

“Youth Perceptions of Uneven Globalization in Saudi Arabia”, Commentary, 2017.


Selected journal publications

"The Impact of Globalization on Saudi Male Millennials' Identity Narratives", Asian Affairs, 50 (3), 2019.

"State, Citizens and Institutions: Policy Making in the GCC", with Neil Quilliam, Middle East Policy, XXV, (3), 2018.

“Saudi Vision 2030: A Viable Response to Youth Aspirations and Concerns?”, Asian Affairs, 48 (2), 2017.

“Societal Transformation, Public Opinion and Saudi Youth: Views from an Academic Elite”, Middle Eastern Studies, 53 (5), 2017.


Books and book chapters

Being Young Male and Saudi: Identity and Politics in a Globalized Kingdom. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Policy Making in the GCC: State, Citizens, and Institutions. I.B. Tauris, 2017 (co-edited with Neil Quilliam).

Saudi Arabia and the Path to Political Change: National Dialogue and Civil Society. I.B. Tauris, 2014.

“Saudi Arabia: Civil Society and Natural Resource Management”, in Indra Overland (ed.) Public Brain Power: Civil Society and Natural Resource Management, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

“Reevaluating the Saudi Social Contract: The Perspective of Saudi Male Graduates”, in David Jones and Sofiane Sahraoui (eds.) The Future of GCC Labour Market Reform: Towards a Multi-Disciplinary, Evidence-Based and Practical Understanding, Gerlach Press, 2017.

"Self-Motivation, Career Aspirations and Work Responsibilities: The Perspective of Saudi Male Undergraduates at KFUPM" in Kropf & Ramady (eds.) Employment and Career Motivation in the Arab Gulf States: The Rentier Mentality Revisited, Gerlach Press, 2015.






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