The impact of the Arab Spring on the Jordanian political reform process
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research investigated recent Jordanian reforms arising from the ‘Arab Spring’. There were no large-scale protests, though political, social and economic reforms were externally-induced and internally-inspired. Jordan is atypical of reforms in Arab regimes and exemplifies characteristics that have shaped the trajectory of Arab regimes reforms. A different pattern emerged reflecting a gradual reform process that disguises the gap between rhetoric and actuality. Reforms were undertaken to pursue modernisation with a hybrid style of democratisation. This research used the testimony of Jordanian key informants to place in context the unique features of Jordanian society. A qualitative methodology, using semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and secondary sources was used to explain the reform process, as influenced by political party leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), diplomats and senior government officials. The findings characterises the Jordanian reform process as the Liberal Jordanian Leadership Theory. Liberal Jordanian Leadership is a style of governance maintained by the Monarchy which balances the political and social measures necessary for long-term stability by combining internal and external factors influencing the contemporary reforms. These factors are the Arab Spring, the social media, MB, CSOs, Jordan’s political parties, US foreign policy, regional factors and the Monarchy. Consequently, the constitution and economic plans have adapted to the new challenges. The result is a break with historical tradition and more dynamic Jordanian political process. Political reform in Jordan was supported by the Regime since the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’. In this, Jordan is unique, as it experienced a process of reforms and achievements reflecting its specific history, government system, economy and society.
PhD Thesis - School of Management
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