Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist
Joyriding in Riyadh

Joyriding in Riyadh
Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt

$85.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Date Published: April 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107035485

$85.00 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Why do young Saudis, night after night, joyride and skid cars on Riyadh's avenues? Who are these “drifters” who defy public order and private property? What drives their revolt? Based on four years of fieldwork in Riyadh, Pascal Menoret's Joyriding in Riyadh explores the social fabric of the city and connects it to Saudi Arabia's recent history. Car drifting emerged after Riyadh was planned, and oil became the main driver of the economy. For young rural migrants, it was a way to reclaim alienating and threatening urban spaces. For the Saudi state, it jeopardized its most basic operations: managing public spaces and enforcing law and order. A police crackdown soon targeted car drifting, feeding a nationwide moral panic led by religious activists who framed youth culture as a public issue. The book retraces the politicization of Riyadh youth and shows that, far from being a marginal event, car drifting is embedded in the country's social violence and economic inequality.

    • Includes numerous interviews and an extensive review of Saudi sociological literature
    • Explores social violence and economic equality throughout Saudi Arabia
    • Demonstrates the struggle between youth culture and the state
    Read more


    • An Economist Book of the Year 2014

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Good anthropologists aim to enter into the minds of their subjects, sharing their lifestyle, acquiring their language, studying their moods and responses but always maintaining an objective self-awareness. Pascal Menoret is better than good."
    The Economist

    "An excellent ethnography of youth culture in Saudi Arabia that unpacks the connections between the social practice of joyriding as a form of political dissent with the questions of oil, urbanism, and power. It provides new insight into the categories of masculinity and gender in the Middle Eastern context and the spatial politics of the Saudi state. This work contributes to a growing body of critical scholarship … Joyriding in Riyadh is an excellent and scholarly work that makes a valuable contribution to the field of Middle East Studies. It will appeal to anyone that has an interest in youth culture, urban and gender studies, urban history, and anthropology of the Middle East. Moreover, the book can be assigned to classes on Middle Eastern politics, Arab Uprisings, or any course that deals with the issues of social violence and economic inequality in a comparative or global framework."
    Feras Klenk, Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online

    "Menoret has written one of the best books on contemporary Saudi Arabia. I applaud the author’s bravery in undertaking fieldwork among violent, repressed, and disenfranchised young men in the kingdom during the years of the War on Terror. He elegantly combines an intimate portrayal of Saudi male youth culture with a profound analysis of the national and global networks of government, business, and expertise that gave rise to joyriding."
    Jörg Matthias Determann, American Historical Review

    "This is an insightful, important and unique book. It is extremely readable and will be accessible to students of all levels, as well as others inside and outside academia with an interest in the Gulf, urban history and politics, and gender and sexuality in the Middle East."
    Michael Farquhar, LSE Middle East Centre Blog (

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107035485
    • length: 263 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A night with 'Ajib
    2. Repression and fieldwork
    3. City of the future
    4. The business of development
    5. Street terrorism
    6. Street politics

  • Author

    Pascal Menoret, New York University, Abu Dhabi
    Pascal Menoret is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University, Abu Dhabi. His research combines urban history and social anthropology. His publications include The Saudi Enigma: A History (2005) and L'Arabie, des routes de l'encens à l'ère du pétrole (2010).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.