• Mark Nygaard Brinch
4. semester, Udviklingsstudier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)

The Arab Spring of 2011-13 reignited the study of political legitimacy in the Middle East. Especially the vulnerability of republics versus the resilience of monarchies drew much scholarly attention. Among the resilient monarchies Morocco and Jordan stands out as monarchies that succeeded in navigating rather peacefully through the Arab Spring. The case of the resilience of the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan in the Arab revolts is of particular interest since the power dynamics within Jordan seem to contribute to the stability of the regime in spite of the authoritarian nature of the constitutional monarchy. Scholars have cited the efficiency of the security agency, the Hashemites’ ancestral ties to the Prophet Muhammed or a mix of selective minor democratic initiatives as the main reasons for the continued stability in Jordan. However, a more throughout analysis of the sources of the Hashemites’ legitimacy needs to be carried out to fully understand the societal power relations behind the stability of the Hashemites. This research therefore aims to clarify the Hashemites’ use of legitimacy during the Arab Spring of 2011-13. This is done by applying Max Weber’s Traditional -, Legal-rational, and Charismatic authority to examine the sources of legitimacy for the Hashemite monarchy during the Arab Spring. By applying these concepts it is possible to identify the strategic use of different tools to in the monarchy’s pursuit on legitimacy. The three major societal groups selected for this analyses is the institutionally discriminated Palestinian majority, the pro-Hashemite bedouin tribes and the reform-eager Islamists, then latter is represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated political party the Islamic Action Front. By applying the Weberian authorities to the different societal groups in the span of the Arab Spring the Hashemites’ sources of legitimacy within different societal groups in Jordan is outlined. Thus, it is proven that the different sources of legitimacy is rooted in the Monarchy’s strategic use of authorities that provide legitimacy based on religion, tradition, charisma and adherence to democratic principles. From the analysis of the societal groups three main tools used by the Hashemites during the Arab Spring of 2011-13 are identified. These tools are (1) the maintenance of the status quo in the power relations between the major social groups in Jordan, (2) the establishment, through charisma, of the King’s image as a leader committed to democratic principles and (3) the reliance on an embedded transferred legitimacy as monarch and as a Hashemite member. Lastly, the potential consequences of the monarchy’s strategy of marginalising the Palestinians is also touched upon, as it is a potential source of instability in Jordan. This is due to the regime’s discriminatory policies against the Palestinian majority, which eventually will have to be removed on the expense of the preferential treatment of the tribes potentially causing a decrease in support of the Hashemites.
Udgivelsesdato31 jul. 2015
Antal sider54
ID: 216816492