Middle East Briefs
Parallel to the Center’s scholarly work, Middle East Briefs provides a brief analysis of a single issue at the top of the region’s political, social, or economic agenda. Targeted primarily at decision-makers and opinion leaders, the publication was launched in 2005.
March 2020 – The New Jordanian Patriotism After the Arab Spring
Middle East Brief 134 (Summary) — Jordanian society is often described in terms of a native Transjordanian tribal population supporting the Hashemite monarchy against a larger population of Palestinians. In this Brief, Yazan Doughan argues that this constellation of identities was the product of a particular historical moment in the kingdom’s history—1967-1989—and that a new form of Jordanian patriotism has come to replace it in recent years. This new patriotism, expressed in the language of economic and human rights and commitment to the homeland, rather than allegiance to the person of the King, was a product both of the state’s liberalization of the economy and of the nationalization of politics since the 1980s. During Jordan’s “Arab Spring” of 2011-12, Doughan found that activists utilized this language as they sought to claim popular sovereignty against a king whom they accused of corruption, leading previously disparate groups—including so-called regime loyalists—to join the popular movement for reform, known as the Hirak. The Brief concludes by addressing what this change in civic patriotism says about the willingness of the current generation of Jordanian activists to call for revolution.