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'?
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 215 x 135 x 16 mm
Edition: Special and 1985/Chicago Bears/20 Annivers ed
'Beautifully written, lively and engaging, this book will give both old hands and first-time visitors a very 3-dimensional analysis of Jordan and where it stands five years after King Hussain's passing.'
Eugene L. Rogan, St Antony's College, Oxford
'A highly readable introduction to Jordan, its people and politics, intersected with enlightening interviews with Jordanians from a range of backgrounds. A must-read.'
Joost R. Hiltermann, Director of the Middle East Project, International Crisis Group
'In a deft combination of analysis and direct reportage, Alan George has provided an excellent account of contemporary Jordan and of the different pressures, internal, regional and global, to which it is subjected. At once sympathetic and critical, his book shows how the modern state and society of Jordan have been created, where power lies, the limits to that power, and the diverse forces operating within that country.'
Fred Halliday, London School of Economics
'Alan George has painted a shrewd, candid and unsparing portrait of contemporary Jordan. It is certainly the sharpest and most informative study of the country currently available.'
Peter Sluglett, University of Utah, Salt Lake City