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Title: The politics of truth management : the case of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia
Author: Shahi, Afshin
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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This study is about the management of ‘truth’ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It aims to investigate the ways in which the official ‘truth’ is constructed and institutionalised in the country. It attempts to critically analyse some of the ways in which the official ‘truth’ is tailored to rationalise the prevailing model of the distribution of power in Saudi Arabia. This study argues that truth is not born in a power vacuum and often its construction and institutionalisation signify domination in one way or another. Hence, what the management of truth means is, in principle, the management of power, and the quest for truth is the quest for power. The main focus of this study is Wahhabism, which functions as the official ‘truth’ of the state in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism, which is the product of an eighteenth century revivalist movement, is portrayed as the most ‘authentic’ reading of Islam, which provides the raison d'être for the prevailing political mechanism in the country. This thesis puts forward an argument that there are two interrelated notions which articulate the ways in which ‘truth’ is conceptualised in Islam. One, at macro level, constitutes the trans-historical foundational principles of the religion, a set of engrained beliefs, which establish the ‘finality’, and ‘oneness’ of Islam in relation to other competing narratives, and the other at the micro level takes place internally to find ‘truth’ within the ‘truth’. Unlike Islamic truth at the macro level, which is entrenched, the Islamic truth at the micro level refers to the various attempts by different agencies to claim to have found the ‘truth’ within the ‘truth’. Wahhabism is introduced as an example of truth management at the micro level. This study underlines four factors of narrative construction, leadership, socialisation and violence, which are instrumental in the management of truth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available