Frozen Political Liberalization in Jordan: The Consequences for Democracy
Kamrava, Mehran, 1964-
Prompted by serious economic difficulties, in 1989 the Jordanian government launched a series of political liberalization measures aimed at rejuvenating the country's parliament and party politics, and restoring freedom to the media. Despite much initial enthusiasm, the liberalization process has become frozen and there have been few substantive moves toward a meaningful transition to democracy. Two developments have combined to result in this democratization freeze. One is the reluctance of the state to give up many of its powers in relation to the forces of civil society. A second is the inability of professional associations and the emerging parliamentary opposition bloc to formulate and institute viable links within themselves and with other social actors in an attempt to pressure the monarchy for more political concessions. The hybrid, semi‐democratic, absolutist monarchy that has emerged in the process has enhanced its popular legitimacy by adopting certain democratic trappings, which, in the short run at least, appear detrimental to a more meaningful transition to democratic rule.
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Kamrava, Mehran (Middle East Institute, 2009)Qatar's much publicized liberalization campaign that began in the mid-1990s was a direct result of efforts by the new Amir, Shaykh Hamad, to compensate for his fragile base of support within the ruling Al Thani family by ...