In 2003, I was sitting with some activists at a café in Amman, Jordan, discussing recent changes to the Public Gathering Law. Organizers of protest events were required to obtain a permit to hold any kind of demonstration or march, a restriction
Insights from Jordan
“Studying Up” the Global Division of Labor and Mobility in the Humanitarian Industry in Jordan
Introduction Since 2012, over a million Syrians have fled to Jordan, 671,551 of whom are registered refugees ( UNOCHA 2019 ). Due to economic instability and rising unemployment in the country, the incoming demographic was scapegoated for
Trends and contestations from Egypt and Jordan
This article addresses the core-periphery nexus by looking at some of the reform packages proposed in the 2000s in these two pivotal countries in the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the resistances they generated. These reform packages include internationalisation and privatisation policies, as well as World Bank–sponsored programmes intended to enhance the higher education sector. These programmes are marked by a high degree of isomorphism with global trends: they belong to an unquestioned centre, with peripheries as receiving points of policies elaborated elsewhere. In this article, I examine some of the resistances they were met with in Egypt and Jordan and show how their translations were shaped by the logics of the local contexts so that they were rarely implemented. Looking at post–Arab Spring developments, the article reflects on the continuity of reform packages amidst political turmoil, and the ways in which these reforms are altering or reinforcing processes of peripheralisation.
Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) is commonly remembered as the archnemesis of economics, which he notoriously dubbed “the dismal science.” This article, however, suggests that Carlyle’s ideas in fact had a considerable influence among economists during the decades following his death. Indeed, an array of economists cited Carlyle in criticizing self-interest, laissez-faire, and materialism, in suggesting that economic science ought to accord greater importance to moral and ethical factors, and in urging the “Captains of Industry” and the state to exercise paternal guidance over the working classes. In short, Carlyle’s writings shaped these economists’ understanding, portrayal, and critique of the previous generation of so-called “old” economists, as well as their self-understanding as self-professed “new” economists.
Jennifer A. Jordan
How do groups of people produce particular markers of the past in the urban landscape? The terrain of markers in a given neighborhood, city, or country can result from the top-down vision of a centralized elite-or the relatively diverse, even contradictory, layers of multiple eras and multiple interest groups and actors. In post 1989 Berlin, the memorial landscape is a heterogeneous collection of statues, plaques, and conceptual memorial projects relating to various eras in the city?s nearly eight centuries of existence. More widely known sites may be created in somewhat top-down ways, and be the responsibility of federal and state officials. But, much memorial work happens at the district level, and in the hands of an array of local activists. This local responsibility clearly indicates the active involvement of both easterners and westerners in local democratic and civic processes in general, and in activities that shape the memorial terrain in particular. Despite the inequality of unification and the extensive institutional transfer that happened in many sectors of the political and economic arenas, many eastern Berliners play active roles in the civic life in general and memorial culture in particular of their neighborhoods and districts. These local practices result from the civic participation (and arguably social integration) of a range of Berlin?s residents, in both the eastern and western halves of the city.
William R. Jordan
Environmentalism has made much of the idea of community since Aldo Leopold proposed it as the crucial metaphor defining a healthy relationship between humans and the rest of nature. Community, however, far from being the solution to our environmental problems, is actually just a useful way of framing the problem. How, for example, do you form a working relationship with an ecologically obsolete system that owes nothing to you? The answer: You commit yourself to its restoration, cultivating a studied indifference to your own interests—a practice the author terms "holistic restoration."
Around "Political Spiritualities: The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria" by Ruth Marshall
Ruth Marshall, J.D.Y. Peel, Daniel Jordan Smith, Joel Robbins, and Jean-François Bayart
In the now very rapidly growing literature on Pentecostalism in Africa, Ruth Marshall’s book occupies a special place. In disciplinary terms, most of that literature falls under religious studies or history. The anthropologists came later, particularly those from North America, who had to get over their distaste for a religion that seemed so saturated in the idioms of the US Bible Belt. The originality of Marshall’s book is grounded in its linkage of questions derived from political theory with rich data collected through intensive and sustained fieldwork. But she insists it is not “an ethnography of the movement” (p. 5), so what exactly is it?
Why Pro-democracy Activity Was Avoided in Gulf Nations during the Arab Spring
Charles Mitchell, Juliet Dinkha, and Aya Abdulhamid
, widespread collective action proliferated across much of the Middle East and North Africa, namely, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain. In this article, we examine the Arab Spring collective action that unified
Humanitarian House Visits, Performative Refugeehood, and Social Control of Syrians in Jordan
In spring 2016, I stepped out of a brick shack on the outskirts of Mafraq, a mid-sized town in northern Jordan. I had arrived some months earlier to conduct ethnographic fieldwork with Syrian refugees for my doctoral thesis, and begun
Giovanni A. Travaglino and Benjamin Abrams
actors, and different types of physical and social spaces in shaping cross-movement alliance formation during this period. Moving along similar conceptual lines, in “Material Obstacles to Protest in the Urban Build Environment: Insights from Jordan