In This Review
Protesting Jordan: Geographies of Power and Dissent

Protesting Jordan: Geographies of Power and Dissent

By Jillian Schwedler

Stanford University Press, 2022, 392 pp.

Schwedler has crafted an extraordinarily rich portrait of the creation of Jordan and the fortunes of the Hashemite monarchy through the lens of those who contested its policies, its institutions, and sometimes even its very existence. In doing so, she demonstrates that protest has been a routine part of politics in Jordan since before the modern state was established. From resistance to Ottoman taxes to defiance of British rule, from opposition to Hashemite suzerainty to disputing neoliberal reforms, Jordanians have regularly made their views known. The patterns of protest—where they take place, who joins them and when, how the regime represses, manipulates, uses, and abuses popular demonstrations and revolts for its own purposes—reveal a complex and subtle politics often obscured by more conventional emphases on government institutions or established political movements. Rebellion is an important part of everyday political contestation, and Jordanians have used it often and with surprising effectiveness.