The seismic political events of 2016, such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President, highlighted the fact that globalization has exacerbated divisions within societies, in terms of the gap between rich and poor, elite and non-elite, and those who identify themselves with a national boundary and those who perceive themselves to be part of a wider community.
Nevertheless, a group of young educated Saudi male undergraduates at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in the Eastern Province identify the principal problem causing these societal divisions as not globalization per se but rather ‘uneven globalization’. Uneven globalization refers to the fact that some states, societies and/or constituencies benefit from globalization whilst others are harmed by it; in other words, there are clear winners and losers born out of the processes of uneven globalization.
To what extent do these young men see ‘uneven globalization’ affecting the socio-political, socio-economic and socio-cultural environments of Saudi Arabia? What follows are some of their thoughts and concerns.
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King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies