pdf ANZCA15 ali Alshaikh Popular

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Since 2001, nationalism in Saudi Arabia has been defined as an adoption of citizen participation as a means of transferring citizen loyalty from the religious establishment to the government under pressure from the US following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Communication strategies have been adopted to encourage Saudi citizens to participate and discuss their interests, and to inculcate nationalism and loyalty to the Saudi government. In 2011 after the Arab Spring (a revolution across Arabic countries), the Ministry of Labour in Saudi Arabia introduced a policy called Nitaqat, whereby private sector corporations were compelled to employ Saudi citizens over foreigners. In meeting national employment needs, Nitaqat operates with the official aim of acting in the best interests of Saudi citizens and, in turn, strengthening nationalism among Saudi people. Focusing on the introduction and implementation phases of the Nitaqat policy, this paper aims to examine the extent to which the Ministry of Labour has adopted communication strategies to meet ordinary Saudi citizens’ needs through the obtainment of employee rights. This paper uses in-­‐depth interviews with elite members of the Ministry of Labour, as well as employers and ordinary Saudis, to fulfil the objectives of the study. The findings indicate that communication strategies utilised before the introduction of Nitaqat operate in an exclusive way. However, after the launch of Nitaqat – and considering the vocal dissatisfaction surrounding this policy – the Ministry of Labour established a new department to engage citizens in revising Nitaqat to meet their needs.