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Author

Asher Susser

The Stanley and Ilene Gold Senior Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. During 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, he was a Senior Fellow on the Myra and Robert Kraft Chair in Arab Politics at the Crown Center.

 

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Jordan Facing Up to the ISIS Challenge: A Net Assessment


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Asher Susser
Middle East Brief 92, April 2015

Summary

The rise and expansion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has threatened to erode state order and boundaries in the Middle East. Situated at the epicenter of this potential regional breakdown, Jordan faces serious domestic and international challenges to the stability that its Hashemite monarchy has so carefully cultivated. In this Brief, Asher Susser provides a net assessment of Jordan’s response to the ISIS challenge and the regime’s capacity to weather this latest storm. In responding to this predicament, Jordan must confront the radicalization of its domestic Islamist opposition, a struggling economy overburdened by the massive influx of Syrian refugees, and discontent among the monarchy’s core of "East Banker" elite. Jordan’s ability to pull through hinges on two critical factors: international support and the evolution of Jordanian stateness, defined here as effective central government and a cohesive understanding of Jordanianness. Susser concludes that as long as these remain, the Jordanian monarchy can continue performing an increasingly precarious balancing act. Yet, he cautions that this will require delicate diplomacy and very generous support from the Hashemite Kingdom’s allies, including Israel.


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