Protests in Jordan. Rumblings in the Kingdom of Dialogue
Malika Bouziane, Katharina Lenner – 2011
Malika Bouziane and Katharina Lenner look at the historical trajectory of strategies of rule and contestation in Jordan, aiming to trace actual changes and continuities. They argue that one can currently witness a new dynamic of contestation, which simultaneously challenges but also reinforces established mechanisms of rule. The recent ‘24th of March’ coalition constitutes an attempt to form a broad coalition for political and economic reforms, transcending potential divides between different population groups. This effort, however, has been undermined by a resurgence of divide-and-rule strategies. Moreover, the authors observe a return to personalized forms of monarchical rule and accommodation, which marks a significant shift from the detached neoliberal ‘reform orientation’ of the last ten years. Those reactions, in addition to other established mechanisms of accommodation and containment point to a strategic reorientation in the face of the current crisis. While they currently contribute to a widespread notion that there is no alternative to the Hashemite monarchy, emerging dynamics also challenge previous modes of governance. Based on those observations, the authors question the established account of monarchical flexibility and, thus, stability.