How can Saudis be aware of politics and IR?

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Living in a monarchical system does not mean that politics and International Relations are unimportant, as it is no secret that what happens in the political world affects all of us. Indeed, politics has a greater impact on our lives than I believe most people want to admit.

I was honored to be the only Saudi graduate of International Relations among my cohort in 2015, and I realized when I returned to Saudi Arabia that citizens were not aware of such a major which is well known in the West.

Politics is connected to almost everything. Therefore, having a basic knowledge of political science is a necessity for everyone in society regardless of their age or field of work. Political science and international relations are social sciences that encompass political systems and philosophies that have a direct or indirect impact on how society functions.

Politics deals more with internal affairs and focuses on national issues and domestic policies in one’s home country, for example as a member of the Saudi Shoura Council dealing with conflict studies, human rights and social justice.

International relations (also known as global politics or international politics) focuses on political issues and foreign affairs affecting the world. It attempts to explain how relations between different countries are structured and maintained.

It deals with contemporary political understanding on a global level, looking at issues that affect the world at large, or focusing on environmental politics, international law, international security and cross-cultural communication.

From an understanding of world politics, we develop the skills of diplomacy and negotiation which can help us in our work and inter-personal relations in our everyday life. Moreover, political concepts at work can be seen every day in the news that we receive from media outlets.

Thus, we should try to understand them and learn how and where to use them properly and how they can contribute to our community. This will automatically come by observation and following the accelerated pace of both local and international events.

Whether we like it or not, politics and International Relations play a crucial role in our daily lives; therefore, as citizens of Saudi Arabia, we should be involved in representing and defending the Kingdom both locally and internationally.

— The author is a Saudi political analyst specialized in International Relations. She can be reached at: ekleel.sallam@hotmail.com Twitter: @EkleelBS


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