Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study investigates Anglo-Saudi cultural relations from 1950 to 2010, with the aim of greater understanding the nature of those relations, analysing the factors affecting them and examining their role in enhancing cultural relations between the two countries. Furthermore, the thesis is grounded within the area of public diplomacy, using cultural exchange as a means of developing ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia, and evaluating the power of Saudi-British cultural diplomacy to improve bilateral relations.
This thesis has been undertaken using an analysis methodology in order to examine the factors and events effecting Anglo-Saudi cultural relations by providing a study of political, economic, security and educational factors and their impact on such relations. It questions how and why certain events occurred, how these impacted on cultural ties, and then examines the ensuing consequences.
The research is made up of seven chapters. The first chapter provides an explanation of the conceptual and theoretical development of culture, cultural relations and cultural diplomacy. In the second chapter the thesis deals with the historical background of Anglo-Saudi relations and its current development, and then examines the factors that have impacted on Saudi-British bilateral relations, specifically the Buraimi and the Suez crises during the 1950s and 1960s in chapter 3, booming oil prices in the 1970s in chapter 4, the higher education links between Saudi Arabia and Britain during the 1980s and 1990s in chapter 5, the relationship in the light of the events of 11 September 2001 in chapter 6, and finally the growth of educational co-operation and the role of the British Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Saudi Cultural Bureau in London in chapter 7.
In its examination of cultural, political and educational factors, the study has drawn on primary data from various archives in both Britain and Saudi Arabia, in addition to reports from the British Council, the Saudi Embassy, the Cultural Bureau in London and other secondary sources.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorRory Miller (Supervisor) & Michael Kerr (Supervisor)

Cite this