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La « prison dorée », ou les luttes de pouvoir dans l’Arabie Saoudite de Mohammed ben Salman : retour sur un terrain limite pour les sciences sociales

Thomas Brisson 1 
1 LabToP - Laboratoire Théories du politique : pouvoir et relations sociales
CRESPPA - Centre de recherches sociologiques et politiques de Paris
Abstract : In November 2017, several hundred members of the Saudi political and economic elite were arrested and detained at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Ryadh. The roundup, described by the Saudi authorities as a mere anti-corruption campaign, has been analysed by the specialists of the Middle-East as a purge aimed at consolidating the rule of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. After analyzing the power struggles that led to these events, the article tackles a previously unnoticed aspect of the imprisonment and asks: to what extent was the luxury of the hotel instrumental in the political process that took place there? It show that paying attention to the fact that the cage was “gilded” allows us to gain a better understanding of what was at stake in the Ritz-Carlton: the Crown Prince had to walk a fine line between forcing the Saudi elites into submission and avoiding to completey destroy their power, on which his own rule is eventually premised. Finally, as the Ritz-Carlton remained a stricly enclosed space, making almost impossible to get a factual account of the events, the article reflects on what means researching political objects shrouded in secrecy and calls for a new methodology to study politics in concealed fieldworks.
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https://hal-univ-paris8.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03847845
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 5:14:16 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 3:25:16 AM

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Thomas Brisson. La « prison dorée », ou les luttes de pouvoir dans l’Arabie Saoudite de Mohammed ben Salman : retour sur un terrain limite pour les sciences sociales. Critique Internationale, 2021, 92, pp.123-141. ⟨10.3917/crii.092.0126⟩. ⟨hal-03847845⟩

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