Jordan's youth after the Arab Spring

5 Feb 2015

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Marty Harris examines political and social activism among Jordanian youth in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings. The Analysis argues that Jordan’s young people are caught between a desire for political change and a fear of instability, and that this tension will shape the new forms of activism they will pursue in the future.

Key findings

  • While a full-scale uprising did not occur in Jordan, domestic pressure and fears of regional contagion convinced the monarchy to announce a string of reforms. The implementation of these reforms has been sluggish, however, and has not met opposition demands.
  • Despite the lack of substantial reform, activists have, at least since late 2012, pulled back from protests. Viewing the turmoil in other Arab states and the potential for instability in their own country, many young activists are currently cautious about pushing too hard for political reform.
  • Instead, activists in Jordan are exploring new avenues for political activism in the space opened up by the Arab uprisings. These include civic education, online activism and single-issue campaigns.
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