Jordan and the problems of democracy promotion

This is a nice article on democracy promotion in Jordan and how it doesn’t always have the desired effect:

‘While such programs allow the U.S. to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to “promoting democracy,” the authoritarian regimes in the region seem quite capable of coexisting which them. Without a Jordanian commitment to democratize (and this commitment must be home-grown), American aid for liberalism and electoral process will at most facilitate the emergence of a liberal authoritarian regime. Liberal authoritarianism may, in fact, be a desirable outcome given the U.S. reliance on Jordan for logistical support in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence cooperation, and remaining a friendly neighbor for Israel. Genuine democracy would certainly remove the Hashemites from political power, and, given the country’s majority Palestinian population, could also destabilize already fragile Palestinian-Jordanian relations.’

Kind of reminiscent of the problems with democracy promotion aid in Egypt.

On a side note, I’ve just finished reading a really excellent book on the role of USAID and the IMF in Egypt’s ‘structural readjustmentand how the whole narrative of aid and economic reform was fabricated. Highly, highly recommended.

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