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Beloit College

Publication Date

Spring 2023

Program Name

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


Inspired by the 2011 Arab Spring events in Tunisia, cries of the regional chant “al-sha’ab yurid isqat al-nizam” (the people want to bring down the regime) were echoing in several MENA countries. Targeted demonstrations were aimed to express people’s dissatisfaction with the political and socioeconomic conditions within their countries. Protestors demanded regime change and, as a result, authoritarian leaders in countries like Tunisia and Libya were deposed. Some regimes succumbed to their citizens’ demands, while others launched violent crackdowns and used their security forces to confront the demonstrators. However, countries like Jordan curbed major social unrest and avoided the outbreak of severe violence. This paper explores the reasons why the country’s experiences during the Arab Spring were markedly different from its regional counterparts. By analyzing the protests within the country, the paper argues that the regime survival measures adopted by the monarch coupled with weak reform coalitions staved off major social unrest.


Arabic Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Political Science | Politics and Social Change


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