For the second week in a row, a diverse array of Jordanians mobilized in the streets of Amman and other cities to protest economic conditions in Jordan. Similar to last week’s Jordanian Day of Anger, the recent protests were organized and followed through with despite government attempts to appease popular discontent in the days preceding the planned protests. Contrary to last week’s mobilizations which focused on rising prices, protesters this week were much more direct in decrying “policies that impoverish and starve” the citizens of Jordan. Furthermore, unlike last week, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) participated in the protests.
As mentioned in a previous post, the problem was never simply one of rising prices. The fundamental problem lies in the inability of the general public to meet their basic needs within the given economic configurations of Jordan. The existing economic development model in Jordan has failed to provide adequate employment, income, and purchasing power to the average citizen. While both the regime and the government have taken steps to alleviate some of the most immediate symptoms of the problem, there has been little indication that the principles underlying these symptoms are being subject to serious reconsideration. However, the failure to engage in such reconsideration should not point to an inevitable challenge to the existing political economy. While protesters have sharpened their criticisms of the economic conditions in Jordan, the discursive separation between government and regime - as well as between economic conditions and the development model - persist.
This article is now featured in Jadaliyya`s edited volume entitled Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). The volume documents the first six months of the Arab uprisings, explaining the backgrounds and trajectories of these popular movements. It also archives the range of responses that emanated from activists, scholars, and analysts as they sought to make sense of the rapidly unfolding events. Click here to access the full article by ordering your copy of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings from Amazon, or use the link below to purchase from the publisher.