Jordan has played a bigger role in Middle Eastern affairs than its size and economy might warrant, due to its huge Palestinian population, its strategic location between Israel, the West Bank, Syria and Iraq, and its uniquely close relationship with successive British and US administrations. Drawing on numerous visits to the country and interviews with a diversity of people from King Abdullah down, Alan George describes how its reasonably stable monarchical system, unlike that in most Arab countries, has allowed the halting development of civil society and maintained control through the skilful co-option of opponents rather than heavy-handed reliance on its secret police. What is daily life like? How do its parliamentary system and political parties work? How free are the media? What are the future prospects of this buffer 'state without a nation'?
Alan George gained his PhD, on Syria, at Durham in 1978. Since 1984 he has worked as a freelance journalist and researcher, contributing to a wide range of UK and international publications including the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian, and commentating on Middle Eastern affairs for radio and television. He is a former assistant director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), of whose Executive Committee he has been a member for many years. He has visited Syria repeatedly since 1967. He is the author of Syria: Neither Bread nor Freedom (Zed 2003)
Acknowledgments Introduction Chronology Vital Statistics Part 1: Jordam 1. 'Fulfilling our Promises': The Creation of Jordan 2. 'Neither Democrat nor Demagogue': Jordan under King Hussain 3. 'Bread before Freedom': Jordan under King Abdullah II Part II: Jordanians 4. Abdullah bin Al-Hussain: King 5. Barjas al-Hadid: Tribal Shaikh 6. Rajai Khoury: Businessman 7. 'Abd al-Fatah al-Bustani: Dentist 8. Abu Muhammad: Taxi driver 9. Awad ash-Shubaiki: Farmer 10. Anisa Salim: Palestinian refugee Part III: Institutions 11. The 'Stratified Elite' : The Royal Family and Royal Court 12. 'Strengthening the Moderate Majority': Parliament and Parties 13. 'The Basis of Governance': The Legal System 14. The Sky's the Limit: The Media 15. 'Investing in a Mobile Resource': Higher Education 16. Visions and Realities: The Future Select Bibliography Index
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Special and 1985/Chicago Bears/20 Annivers ed.