Regime Security in Jordan Revisited: New Challenges to the Monarchy’s Resilience after the Arab Spring by Takuro Kikkawa
Jordan is one of the few authoritarian Arab regimes that survived region-wide mass protests during the Arab Spring, although the monarchy lacked enough force or resources to neutralize the dissident. This study analyzes the source of the resiliency of the Hashemite monarchy during 2011–2020 concerning regime security. The retreat of the Jordanian democratization movements in the early phase of the Arab Spring was the consequence of the opposition’s failure to achieve coordination and alignment, particularly the internal struggle of the Muslim Brotherhood regarding how to respond and its successful co-optation by the government. The scope of regime security in Jordan experienced a dramatic shift from appeasement to coercion around 2014 because of the eroding social order in neighboring states, represented by the influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq. Actions for securitization against Islamists, namely increased policing and tighter border control, were arranged through coercion and securing mass support in tandem. Jordan’s experience illustrates how this typically “weak state” secured its survival in this unprecedented, rapidly changing security situation.
Keywords:Jordan, regime security, Arab Spring, authoritarianism, securitization, Islamism, Hashemites