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Jordan's Regime Survival

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Jordan's Regime Survival

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  • December 2012
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This past year has been rough for the Middle East as it was plagued with endless protests and rebellion. Several regimes have fallen under the pressure while many still struggle to maintain stability through all the turmoil. So far, the rulers of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen have been forced from power, while civil uprisings and major protests continue pressure the remainder of the Arab World. After over a year of this revolutionary wave that swept the Middle East, social scientists begin to analyze the causes for the fall or survival of particular states. Essentially, the question is why certain regimes failed while others did not. This paper will explore this question by focusing on the example of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. So far, the results of the political unrest come as a shock to the rest of the world. Both the ruler of Tunisia and the ruler of Egypt were quickly forced from power. In fear of a similar fate, several neighboring states responded to their protests swiftly and violently, including Yemen and Libya. NATO-backed Libyan rebels successfully overthrew Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and soon enough, President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh crumbled under the pressure as well. The civil war in Syria continues to rage on. The fates of these regimes bring into question the functionality of republican dictatorships in the Arab world as opposed to that of monarchical rule. The Arab monarchies, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain have so far been able to weather through the region’s uprisings with generally nonviolent protests. Sean L. Yom states, “Such outcomes have led many analysts to generalize boldly: in an era of revolutionary turmoil, perhaps monarchical rule provides the safest path for autocratic perpetuity” (Yom). One of the largest arguments for the monarchical rule is legitimacy. The Arab monarchs possess a certain authenticity with their people. Jordan’s royal family claims to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammed, which...

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