By comparison to many other Arab governments, Jordan appears to be a liberal system in which the people enjoy freedoms that are common in western liberal democracies. It is arguably the most democratic government in the Middle East (Wiktorowicz, par. 3). While most countries in the region are highly authoritarian states that do not allow political participation or free expression, Jordan has gradually, over the past two decades, adopted liberalization measures that have moved it away from its prior martial law and authoritarian centralization of political power.
When these factions have become dissatisfied with their economic situation, their expanded access to political participation has been designed to steer them away from a demand for regime change.
Further complicating the regime's balancing act has been Jordan's relationship with the U.S., which has benefited the country from a global economic standpoint but has been domestically swept under the proverbial rug. The potential for close cooperation with the U.S. such as in the areas of trade and military cooperation to upset the populace within Jordan and cause political upheaval is substantial. Ultimately, the true face of Jordan has been that of a politically precarious regime that has been teetering on the brink of popular unrest due to economic and political policies of the government that have been necessary to ensure its survival.
Jordan's emergence onto the ...