Date of Award


Degree Name

Political Science


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

George Davis

Second Advisor

Jason Morrissette

Third Advisor

Shawn Schulenberg


This is a political science thesis that traces a transition in the foreign policy of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia from reliance on soft power to reliance on hard power in cases where the Saudi state is in confrontation with Iran. In theory, the research contextualizes this transition based on Joseph Nye’s concepts of soft and hard power. The thesis uses case analysis approach to manifest the transition in reading and analyzing six cases based on one major hypothesis that measures Iran threat as prominent in those cases. It concludes that since 2010, Saudi Arabia foreign policy began to shift toward using hard power to confront Iran at different states using two different forms of hard power.


Saudi Arabia -- Foreign relations -- Iran.

Iran -- Foreign relations -- Saudi Arabia.