Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

How do ordinary people become political opponents in an authoritarian state?

Alrefai, Hashem (2022) How do ordinary people become political opponents in an authoritarian state? Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (915kB) | Preview


"How do ordinary people become political opponents in an authoritarian state?" Based on in-depth interviews with ten Saudi men and two women dissidents, this paper explores the reasons for opposing the Saudi regime in the period following the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as the Saudi regime's crown prince. It is noteworthy that many Saudi citizens have decided to leave Saudi Arabia and organize opposition to the Saudi regime since the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. This paper explores the dynamics of the growth of political opposition in relation to changing styles of rule, power structure, conceptions of legitimacy, and the cost of repression. I argue there are reasons that contributed to the formation of the opposition to the authoritarian state: 1) the impact of the Arab Spring and the role of counterrevolution; 2) state repression as a political opportunity; 3) learning from the history of past social movements. Also, there are three factors that contributed to the emergence of movements opposed to the authoritarian state: 1) relative openness in political system structure for a long time and then its closure; 2) a fundamental change in the structure of the political system; 3) accumulation of experiences and awareness among activists and social movements. I argue that the state repression occurred due to a change inside the system of the dictatorial state from an authoritarian state to a totalitarian state.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alrefai, Hashemhaa118@pitt.eduhaa118
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBamyeh,
Committee MemberBloom,
Date: 13 June 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2022
Approval Date: 13 June 2022
Submission Date: 8 April 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Movement, Authoritarian state, Saudi Arabia
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 19:13
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 05:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item