• Stability through Change: Toward a New Political Economy in Jordan

    A new Atlantic Council issue brief, "Stability through Change: Toward a New Political Economy in Jordan," contends that Jordan could be a promising experiment with economic and political reform in a relatively stable environment, and a model for reform in Arab transition countries.

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  • Jordan Experiment Could Be a Model for Sustainable Arab Reform

    A new Atlantic Council issue brief, “Stability through Change: Toward a New Political Economy in Jordan,” contends that Jordan could be a promising experiment with economic and political environment in a relatively stable environment, and a model for reform in Arab transition countries.

    Issue brief author Faysal Itani, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, argues that King Abdullah ought to move forward transforming Jordan’s institutions and reimagining its relationship with its citizens, despite the associated political risks. The report’s central conclusion is that economic change has undermined Jordan’s old social contract. To ensure its long-term survival in a new economy, the monarchy must build a state of laws and citizens that extends meaningful...

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  • Anarchy at Door, West Starts to Rebuild Libyan Army

    Turkey, Italy, and Britain are leading the way with promises to train around 8,000 troops and police in skills from infantry basics to forensics. Other recruits are graduating from programs in Jordan.
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  • One Year After Jordan's Fuel Protests

    One year ago, Jordan witnessed some of its worst protests in recent memory. Thousands of citizens spilled in to the streets of Amman, Irbid, and other major cities, protesting a hike in fuel prices and chanting, ‘The people want the overthrow of the regime.” As demonstrators attacked police stations and set cars on fire, observers wondered if the unrest signaled a turning point for Jordan. One year later, the answer is clear: The protests were a precursor to nothing.
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  • Jordan's Youth: Avenues for Activism

    In the latest issue brief from the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center, "Jordan's Youth: Avenues for Activism," author Danya Greenfield evaluates the role of Jordanian youth in political activism, and contends that youth will ultimately take the helm of political change given Jordan's current political and economic climate.

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  • Why Jordan Hesitates to Back Syrian Opposition

    As the United States prepares to provide weapons to Syrian rebels, it will rely on Turkey and Jordan to move arms into the country. Jordan will doubtlessly aid the United States, but its willingness to fully support Assad’s ouster remains far from evident. Despite the show of force touted in June’s Eager Lion military exercises, as well as recent stationing of US fighter jets and missiles in Jordan, closures along the Jordanian-Syrian border point to a distrust of the rebels.
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  • Jordan’s Dilemma

    Jordan has long faced economic challenges, and now a convergence of political and economic factors threatens to undermine the social contract that has historically held the kingdom together. Its sporadic embrace of promarket reforms since the late 1980s, through privatization and the monarchy’s nurturing of an urban economic elite, failed to improve living standards for the majority of Jordanians, who have seen their real income plummet. Protests driven by socioeconomic grievances grew increasingly common years before the widespread regional unrest of 2011.
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  • Optimism After Jordan's Election

    Against all expectations, Jordan's parliamentary election this week seems to have generated some optimism. The big questions had little to do with the appeal of specific political platforms or even the candidates themselves, but rather with process and turnout.

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  • In Jordan’s Elections, Widespread Apathy but Also a Silver Lining

    It is tempting to dismiss the January 23 parliamentary elections in Jordan as irrelevant given widespread voter apathy and the boycott by the largest opposition party (the Islamic Action Front), both due to the lack of substantive political reforms. The bright spot in this relatively bleak picture is that there is some value to holding relatively clean elections in a region where that is still unusual. Although the reforms introduced as part of the revised electoral law in October 2012 fell short of expectations (among both opposition forces and palace loyalists) there have been some notable changes that will reinforce expectations of fair and accountable processes, which will be important if King Abdullah II were to decide to relinquish some of his hold on power and make way for a more inclusive decision-making process.
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  • Jordan on the Eve of Elections: Stability, Protest, or Reform

    Amid public discontent, concerns about Syria spillover, and an influx of refugees, Jordan faces parliamentary elections on January 23 that are unlikely to ameliorate the growing political and economic frustration among its citizens, according to a new issue brief released by Danya Greenfield, deputy director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. To mark the release of this new policy brief, “Jordan's Electoral Environment and Prospects for Change” the Hariri Center held an event on Thursday, January 17 that featured commentary from Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief for Al Arabiya, Mohammed Hussainy, director of the Integrity Center based in Jordan, and was moderated by Michele Dunne, director of the


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