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Austin College

Publication Date

Spring 2020

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Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East


The aim of the present research is to discover the various components of postcolonial studies to the Jordanian and Middle Eastern context through a pseudo-ethnographic study of the political imaginaries of various sub-groups in Jordan—the youth, urban refugees, general citizenry, and tribal sheikhs. In so doing, this study will apply a recognition of the politics of knowledge production (fundamental to postcolonialism) and of the worth of understanding cultures on their own terms (fundamental to anthropology) to uncover the understandings Jordanians and their neighbors have of the political circumstances which affect them. Based on key themes of the Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East seminar and of literature here reviewed, this study suggests several political parameters with which to map the political imaginaries of these sub-groups—the import of the Arab Spring, condition of postcoloniality, the nature of the “State” and the international system, the nature of present conflicts, strategies for the resolution of these conflicts, and constructs for the future. By mapping the political imaginary of my participants, how can we witness the condition of postcoloniality and argue against a key piece of literature which declares the end of postcolonialism, discover the way in which the political imaginary of these subgroups in Jordan might make us rethink what is Known about the Middle East and our world, and activate a future oriented political imagination which constructs a new Middle East? A critic of postcolonial studies is critiqued himself. The “stateness” of the international system is called into question. A discovery of “politically correct war” is made, while considering the effect of the state stability dialectic on conflict in the Middle East. Recommended strategies of peacebuilding are solicited and shared for peacemakers to consider. An Arab or global union is imagined.


Development Studies | International Relations | Islamic World and Near East History | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Regional Sociology


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