Home Institution

Vassar College

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change

Abstract

This study evaluates Jordanian youth’s awareness and perceptions of the constitutional amendments of 2011 and explores the youth’s main sources of political news. I hypothesized that a majority of young Jordanians are largely uninformed about the amendments and expected that the main source of news for most young Jordanians were official media sources. My research data consists of survey responses, given by 65 students from the University of Jordan, as well as five interviews with young Jordanians. My findings proved that the Jordanian youth has a low level of awareness about the recent political reforms, and the main news sources used by the youth are government affiliated. I argue that these results are indicative of the limitations the youth in Jordan face in the political public sphere. The political public sphere in Jordan largely prohibits the ability of citizens to articulate “common concerns,” there is a lack of inclusivity and equality within the public sphere, and critical-rational debate is severely limited. Therefore, despite the marginal political improvements of the recent constitutional reforms, significant political reform is unlikely to develop without a more open and robust political public sphere.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Constitutional Law | Inequality and Stratification | Law and Politics | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Political Science | Politics and Social Change