Saudia Affirmative Action
April 19, 2004 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Saudization is the process of hiring Saudi Arabian nationals to join the Saudi workforce and is an interesting counterpoint to the US phenomena of outsourcing. The goal of Saudization is to discourage reliance on foreign workers as well as to combat domestic unemployment, which is worsened by the rapidly swelling ranks of restive, undereducated youth. Unfortunately it's not as easy to put into practice as it sounds.
posted by rks404 (3 comments total)
I am split on the strategy, here. The idea of having a competent modern workforce is excellent; but something seems to be missing--call it "a curriculum of innovation."

It is a very real, modern problem. Napoleon Bonaparte put it best, when he said, "When an officer is ordered to plan for the present, and to plan for the future, the future invariably suffers."

Americans are educated with the assumption that someday they will be employed in doing something with "cutting edge" technology--new and innovative. The reality is that most end up using ordinary technology to do ordinary things. Only the best and brightest usually achieve novelty and creativity in their work. But everybody is trained to *want* to be creative and innovative.

The Saudis, to a great extent, are still seemingly in the "catch-up" mode. Ironically, the "future shock" effect of this is still pretty traumatic. It would be hard to predict how their society would deal with an "innovation curriculum", or something even more far-reaching than that, most likely based in extraordinary change to their educational system, far beyond any other country.

Eventually the Saudis will have to deal with those who refuse to adapt. A movement towards democracy will follow, *not* through any pretense towards idealistic western-style "freedom", but out of the demands of efficiency. The Royal House, even an eventual democratic-type parliament will be too small to rule, only to give the general direction for their bureaucracy to take.

This type of government would almost certainly be some type of technocracy.

I wonder if any of the Sauds will read this thread?
posted by kablam at 7:57 PM on April 19, 2004

For a GREAT article related to this topic, see
posted by davebarnes at 8:51 AM on April 20, 2004

davebarnes - thanks for the great link - it's one of the best descriptions of daily life in Saudi Arabia that I've come across.
posted by rks404 at 1:58 PM on April 20, 2004

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