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Political Transformations in Jordan

(PS 138)

RaumGarystr. 55, 105

Tuesday, 4p.m. - 6p.m.


Joseph A. Massad: Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan. New York: Columbia University Press. 2001. Sufyan Alissa: Rethinking Economic Reform in Jordan. Confronting Socio-Economic Realities. Carnegie Papers, No. 4, Washington, 2007; web: http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/ cmec4_alissa_jordan_final.pdf 

This seminar will look at past and present transformation of politics in Jordan and its relation to changing economic and social dynamics. Although a small and rather little known polity, Jordan can serve as a prism for understanding many of the political dynamics and problems in the Arab World as well as questions of how to conceive of them analytically. For a long time Jordanian politics was primarily conceived as being dominated by the respective king and his close allies; politics was thus analysed through a focus on the centre of the political system. Yet there are many other dynamics at work that impact on Jordanian politics and that are addressed by a new generation of scholars. In the class, we will look at dynamics such as labour migration and regional political economies, the ethnicisation of politics and different nationalisms, family politics, regional conflicts and refugees, urban transformations, new governance regulations and special regulatory forms, development policies and donor dependency, but also at changes of elites and regime patterns, the question of political (de-)liberalization and different social and political movements. Analytically, we will focus on different approaches to conceiving political change and discuss which approaches shed light on what kind of developments. The working language of this class will be English.