Protesting Jordan: Geographies of Power and Dissent, Jillian Schwedler
In Protesting Jordan, Jillian Schwedler brings together nearly three decades of research to make a poignant argument about politics in Jordan. Contrary to most scholarship on Jordanian politics and state/nation building, which underscores a top-down process in which the Hashemite monarchy is the singular architect, she finds that revolts, resistance, and rebellions have had “profound” effects (61). In nine richly detailed chapters, Schwedler clearly demonstrates how countless protests, movements, and communities of people and civil society have shaped Jordanian politics. While the majority of the book focuses on protests and the postindependence Jordanian government, she begins her study at the end of Ottoman rule, demonstrating that there has been sustained resistance movements for around 150 years.
Studies of resistance movements can take countless angles and foci, like that of ideology or of specific leaders. Schwedler, however, takes a geographic approach. As the subtitle of her book indicates, she draws pointedly on geographic concepts and analyses. Instead of recycling commonplace assumptions that space is merely a stage or container in which life or politics unfolds, she centralizes space as both affecting protests and as being affected by protests. Likewise, she underscores the importance of specific places in affecting protest and
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