2009: 73). The realm of civil society in Saudi was for long a neglected field and least studied have been conducted in this region among others of Middle East and GCC countries. Activists and intellectuals advocating for developments and reforms concerning human rights as social actors have gradually been effectively active since early 2000s. The increased advocacies on human rights have subsequently increased the space for people to pressure governments from bellow thereby representing a greater challenge (Alhargan, 2012). This PhD thesis aims to investigate the nature of civil society in Saudi Arabia and examines the suitability of the civil society theories and to what extent such theories can be applied to the Saudi context. Moreover, this research aims at determining whether the same theories should modify and develop to guide those who are interested in this field.
Notably, this fieldwork aims at collecting primary qualitative data on civil society in Saudi Arabia. Such data will be collected in various forms and structures; furthermore, that data will contain depicting functions it performs, the influence it has upon the broad society and the ruling powers, and the effectiveness by which it discharges these functions. The fieldwork also aims to gather in-depth information about the role of the religious leadership in the development of civil society, and their influence on political authority. The research shall also obtain information about tribal regional and sectarian identities and their impact on civil society.
Numerous studies have since concentrated on the relationship between civil society and religion. This has been so for long time particularly since the Roman Catholic Church concentrated its focus on marginalized areas and politically unstable regions. According to Alhargan, local actors advocating civil rights mainly arose from the religious establishment, unaffiliated government clerics, independent rights activists