Cover of Protesting Jordan by Jillian Schwedler
Protesting Jordan
Geographies of Power and Dissent
Jillian Schwedler


April 2022
392 pages.
from $30.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503630376
Paperback ISBN: 9781503631588
Ebook ISBN: 9781503631595

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Excerpts and More

Protest has been a key method of political claim-making in Jordan from the late Ottoman period to the present day. More than moments of rupture within normal-time politics, protests have been central to challenging state power, as well as reproducing it—and the spatial dynamics of protests play a central role in the construction of both state and society. With this book, Jillian Schwedler considers how space and geography influence protests and repression, and, in challenging conventional narratives of Hashemite state-making, offers the first in-depth study of rebellion in Jordan.

Based on twenty-five years of field research, Protesting Jordan examines protests as they are situated in the built environment, bringing together considerations of networks, spatial imaginaries, space and place-making, and political geographies at local, national, regional, and global scales. Schwedler considers the impact of time and temporality in the lifecycles of individual movements. Through a mixed interpretive methodology, this book illuminates the geographies of power and dissent and the spatial practices of protest and repression, highlighting the political stakes of competing narratives about Jordan's past, present, and future.

About the author

Jillian Schwedler is Professor of Political Science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (2006).

"Protesting Jordan offers readers of Arab politics and contentious politics alike a narrative of how protest shapes how states reproduce their power and, in turn, reshape protest. Jillian Schwedler blends a deep immersion in the Middle East with a firm grasp of contentious politics theory in this thought-provoking book."

—Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University

"Superbly researched, Protesting Jordan provides a fascinating and groundbreaking alternative history of Jordan. Jillian Schwedler skillfully unpacks and challenges traditional accounts of state-making in Jordan as a top-down process. An essential read for those seeking to better understand Jordan's history and how protests maintain state power."

—Janine Clark, University of Toronto

"It's not just the best book I've read about Jordan... but also one of the very best political science books I've read this year... Protesting Jordan should be a must read for scholars of the Middle East and of comparative politics more broadly, as well as for analysts, journalists and policymakers trying to understand the country's politics."

—Marc Lynch, Abu Aardvark