Anas M. Alahmed argues that the Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia created in 2016 was meant to introduce a “new Saudi” to the Western outsider audience and that the “new Saudi” state is on a mission to transform the country from a traditional and conservative kingdom to a new state dedicated to social modernization and openness. Alahmed contends that globalization and the neoliberalism capitalist mode of politics have reinforced the transformation of cultural production into global entertainment production. Therefore, the author shows how the entertainment sector relies heavily on reproducing the Western culture of entertainment production and depends on Western businesses to bring entertainment into the country instead of investing in local entertainment businesses, which forces the state to adopt neoliberal capitalism. The author provides evidence on how the new modernity of Saudi Arabia has become a political tool through which neoliberal capitalists can create positive relationships with Western capitals as part of the postcolonial struggle of neoliberalism in the Global South. Alahmed argues that there is a connection between the role of geopolitical power in globalization and postcolonial studies that explains the struggles of indigenous cultures related to providing their own production to society.
Anas M. Alahmed, Ph.D. in media studies from Indiana University, is a critical media scholar.
Chapter One: Why Write this Book? Why Saudi Arabia? Why Entertainment?
Chapter Two: Theorizing and Researching Saudi State: Understanding Society, Culture and Nationality
Chapter Three: Entertainment, New Saudi Arabia, and the Question of New Class
Chapter Four: The Political Economy of Cultural Production and the Struggle for Modernity
Chapter Five: Policing the Fun and Politicizing the Entertainment: The Struggle for Cultural Production
Chapter Six: The Neoliberal Politics of the Cultural Production of Entertainment
Chapter Seven: What the Future Holds for the ‘New’ Saudi Arabia
Conclusion: Why Is the New Saudi a New iPhone but Btill in an Old Nokia Software System?
Epilogue: New Saudi, New Identity, and Neoliberalism
About the Author