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Mark C. Thompson



Dr. Thompson was appointed a Senior Associate Fellow in April 2017. He is an Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). Before joining the KFUPM, he taught at the 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.

He has recently completed a book Being Young Male and Saudi: Identity and Politics in a Globalized Kingdom (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and is currently assisting Professor Tim Niblock on making the second edition of his book Saudi Arabia: Power Legitimacy and Survival (Routledge, 2006).

Publications at the KFCRIS

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

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

Recent Works

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

“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.

“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 (ed.) The Future of GCC Labour Market Reform: Towards a Multi-Disciplinary, Evidence-Based and Practical Understanding, Gerlach Press, 2017.

Major Works

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

“Saudi Women Leaders: Opportunities and Challenges”, Journal of Arabian Studies, 5 (1), 2015.

“Assessing the Impact of Saudi Arabia's National Dialogue: The Controversial Case of the Cultural Discourse”, Journal of Arabian Studies, 1 (2), 2011.


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