Jordan: Ten More Years of Autocracy

Issue Date October 2009
Volume 20
Issue 4
Page Numbers 151-166
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Since his ascension in 1999, King Abdullah II has halted Jordan’s decade-long experiment with political liberalization. However, the new royal incumbent has preserved authoritarian power not through highly visible tools of domination, such as widespread coercion and institutional closure, but rather softer instruments of legal manipulation. Through selective economic reforms, new civil society regulations, and hollow pluralism initiatives, Abdullah’s regime has tightened its control over political opposition while foreclosing the possibility of mass unrest. As a result, ten years after the Hashemite monarchy received its new king, the prospects for democratic change in Jordan remain exceedingly low.

About the Author

Sean L. Yom is Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University and Senior Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

View all work by Sean L. Yom