Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer


Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”


Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

JMD on NBN: Sean Foley's Changing Saudi Arabia



August 8, 2019 James M. Dorsey



















In Changing Saudi Arabia, Art, Culture and Society in the Kingdom (Lynne Rienner, 2019), Sean Foley offers eye-opening insights into a changing society that is under the international magnifying glass. Using the prism of an exploding arts scene populated by artists, comedians, actors, directors and masters of new media from diverse backgrounds, Foley paints a granular picture of a country that figures prominently in global geopolitics. Breaking with the traditional geopolitical, political and economic paradigm that dominates scholarship and analysis of a kingdom widely viewed as increasingly autocratic and brutal under de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Foley illustrates the margins within which the arts scene seeks to stimulate conversations on often taboo subjects and express criticism by couching it in constructive rather than explicitly critical terms. It involves a balancing act in which artists are forced to be critical and supportive of the regime at the same time. In describing the evolution of the arts scene, Foley also paints a much more layered picture of Prince Mohammed whose reputation as a reformer has been sullied by his crackdown on dissent and the killing in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. The evolution of a non-traditional arts scene is as much organic as it is a reflection of the generational transition in the kingdom’s absolute monarchical rule and an instinctive understanding that survival in the 21st century rests on a more complex set of factors than it did in the last century. With his well-written and erudite analysis, Foley has made a significant contribution to the literature and understanding of the dynamics that are changing the kingdom for better or for worse.

To listen to the podcast, click here

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.

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