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Of Sand or SoilGenealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia$
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Nadav Samin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164441

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164441.001.0001

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Toward a Genealogical Rule of Governance

Toward a Genealogical Rule of Governance

(p.165) Chapter Six Toward a Genealogical Rule of Governance
Of Sand or Soil

Nadav Samin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the compulsion to claim tribal belonging in relation to a set of institutional policies and techniques adopted by the modern Saudi state over the course of the twentieth century. It explains how these policies and techniques combine to produce a genealogical rule of governance that underpins political practice in Saudi Arabia. It also considers how the Saudi state's efforts to standardize citizen identities according to genealogical criteria through identification papers called tūbiʻiyya, promote lineal authentication as a core political function, and privilege kinship as a dominant symbol of Āl-Saʻud rule have made genealogy a pervasive aspect of social and political life in the modern kingdom. The chapter concludes by analyzing the territorial dispute over the oasis of Buraymī.

Keywords:   tribal belonging, rule of governance, Saudi Arabia, tūbiʻiyya, lineal authentication, kinship, Āl-Saʻud, genealogy, political life, Buraymī

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