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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > November 2017 > Saudi Arabia’s princely PR

Saudi Arabia’s princely PR

What the end of the driving ban says about the country’s reforms

Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that women would finally be issued with driving licences was the single biggest thing the country could do to improve its global image. It was not just a PR stunt in that it reflects social change and economic necessity; women are increasingly educated and working, and there is almost no public transport. But changing the rules on women driving has helped to shift the international media spotlight away from austerity, autocracy, arrests, the war in Yemen and the row with Qatar, and onto Saudi Arabia’s social and economic liberalisation.

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In Prospect’s November issue: Joris Luyendijk and Stuart Ward try to uncover the way Britain is perceived by Europe and the rest of the world. Luyendijk—who lived in Britain for six years before recently moving back to his native Netherlands—explains that the Brexit vote has shown Europe that Britain needs time alone to find its identity again, while Ward—a native Australian—argues that its Britain’s imperial backstory that stops it from truly understanding what the world thinks of it. Elsewhere in the issue Jeffrey Lewis argues that US foreign policy has helped North Korea develop the nuclear bomb and we explore the effect that the Palestinian museum near Ramallah is having on the creation of a national identity. Also in this issue: Sameer Rahim profiles Armando Iannucci, Joseph Stiglitz on Britain’s tricky political situation.
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