On Geopolitics

How a Tweet Made Enemies of Saudi Arabia and Canada: Applying the Hofstede Theory to Geopolitics

Ryan Bohl
Middle East and North Africa Analyst, Stratfor
Aug 30, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
The cultural differences between Saudi Arabia and Canada can help explain how the reaction to a tweet developed into a major diplomatic rift.

The cultural differences between Saudi Arabia and Canada can help explain how the reaction to a tweet developed into a major diplomatic rift.

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images and Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

In the past few weeks, a single tweet by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Christia Freeland has spiraled into a massive diplomatic clash between Canada and Saudi Arabia. In the Aug. 2 tweet, Freeland calls for the release of two Saudi activists, Raif and Samar Badawi. Canadian officials over the years have often expressed public concern about Saudi Arabia's approach to human rights, but though the Saudi government has typically brushed off these critiques with no action, this one tweet at this one time has prompted Riyadh to respond with a range of harsh diplomatic and economic measures....

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