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Saudi Arabia has long been held as one of the largest oil producers in the world with a vast amount of wealth. The country's meteoric rise to their current status can be attributed to the development of its oil fields by an American company that gained virtual control over the economy of a fledgling nation. This situation prompted the country to establish a codified Labor Law, which gradually gave control back to the State. In this project the 1969 Labor and Workmen Code will be examined as well as the factors that caused its creation and prompted its continued evolution to its current form. This thesis explores the factors to why it was necessary for the Saudi Arabian Government to create a codified labor law and abandon Sharia (Islamic Law) in commercial matters, in addition to how the state currently uses the law to keep a firm grasp on its natural resources. The lessons learned from the American-led ARAMCO period (1938-1980) were included in the law, thus creating a turning point in Saud Arabian history that allowed the government to reclaim control of its economy. Many sources will be used in this thesis but the most substantial is the Labor and Workmen Law because it contains specific provisions that were enacted to curb American influence. Translated sources from the Saudi Ministry of Labor and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency are also used to highlight the current form of the law as well as many secondary sources bolster the argument that the Saudi Arabian Government established a Labor Code that would ensure a reduction of American hegemony while also making the state the sole influence in labor and commercial matters.
A Thesis submitted to the Program in International Affairs in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Includes bibliographical references.
Will Hanley, Professor Directing Thesis; Adam Gaiser, Committee Member; Paul Beaumont, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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