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Outlook 2018
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Saudi Arabia—on with the lid

The kingdom will experience austerity and social reform, and clamp down on corruption and dissent

Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's ascension to the throne, a possibility in 2018, will be seamless as far as Saudi Arabia's policies go because he's already the person setting all the agendas, including those relating to oil and Opec. But the year will see the future king stamp his personality on the monarchy still further, adopting more the style of an energetic president than a Gulf monarch, stripping away the cumbersome policy-making traditions that made Saudi Arabia a byword for caution and indecision. Mohammed bin Salman's style makes the Saudi leadership less accountable than in the past—and less predictable. But it gives him the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances when ne

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