Honors Program


Date of this Version

Fall 2021

Document Type



Polekar, Nidhi. "U.S. Influence in the Middle East". Honors Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2021


Copyright Nidhi Polekar 2021.


With growing globalization and increased international relations, allies and partner states have a significant influence on their allies. This thesis works to connect the impact of an essential ally in the life satisfaction of a partner state. In this study, the standards of life satisfaction are defined by the following three elements: government regime, political autonomy, and economic disparity. The study also contains a case study of two nations to analyze the United States and its impact on Saudi Arabia to draw parallels between US foreign policy and the Middle East’s shift towards democracy. All three measuring factors indicate a gradual change away from democracy and decreasing life satisfaction in Saudi Arabia. The US’s foreign policy and heavy involvement in the state show a correlation between the two. This thesis finds the US foreign policy and relations with Saudi Arabia to contribute to the decreasing life satisfaction among the citizens of the state. Major allies influence and encourage certain aspects of life in their allies, which ultimately (in this case) decrease the life satisfaction of the people living in the country.