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Promoting Democracy, Reinforcing Authoritarianism
US and European Policy in Jordan


Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Date Published: November 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108493383

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About the Authors
  • Appearing against the backdrop of Jordan's remarkable levels of authoritarian stability and accounting for Jordan being one of the highest recipients of US and European 'democracy promotion' funding, Promoting Democracy, Reinforcing Authoritarianism examines what external 'democracy promoters' actually do when they promote democracy. By examining why Jordanian authoritarianism is so stable, not despite but in part because of external attempts at 'democracy promotion', Benjamin Schuetze demonstrates the depth of Orientalist attitudes among 'democracy promoters'. In highlighting the undermining of democratic values as they become circumscribed by the free market and security concerns, Schuetze suggests that although US and European policy in Jordan comes under the cloak of a universal morality which claims the surmounting of authoritarianism as its objective, its effect is not that different to traditional modes of imperial support for authoritarian regimes. As a result, this is a vivid illustration of what greater US and European policy presence in the Global South really means.

    • Provides a crucial insight into what 'democracy promoters' actually do when they promote democracy
    • Demonstrates how US and European 'democracy promotion' in Jordan has come to undermine democratic values
    • Based on over 160 qualitative interviews conducted in Jordan, Brussels and Washington, DC to address a significant gap in empirical research on democracy promotion
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Schuetze has produced a much-needed analysis of how US and EU 'democracy promotion' in Jordan buttresses authoritarian rule. Textured and layered, his work challenges ideas of a benevolent monarchy and well-intentioned external actors, providing us with important insights into the logics and limits of the 'reform game' in Jordan.' Ziad M. Abu-Rish, Ohio University

    'Schuetze offers a theoretically-informed, practice-oriented, empirically rigorous expose of 'Western' promotion of certain aspects of procedural democracy in Jordan. In addition to projects oriented towards elections and civil society, respectively, he investigates neoliberal economic models and security collaboration, placing political aid in the context of global power structures and ideologies.' Sheila Carapico, University of Richmond

    'Western democracy promotion programs in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have been state of the art for decades. In this important study, Schuetze blows the lid off by examining what democracy promotion actually does. Based on a wealth of interviews and striking observational evidence, Schuetze frames democracy promotion policies as intimately tied to monarchical absolutism in Jordan.' Pete W. Moore, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108493383
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: in Jordan 'reform is not a strange word'
    1. 'Democracy promotion' and moral authority
    2. Who's afraid of politics?
    3. Supporting, mobilising for, and ignoring Jordanian elections
    4. The Jordanian civil society market
    5. Break on through to the other side
    6. Securing Jordan
    7. Imperial coercion, liberal intervention and the rise of populist politics
    Sources and bibliography.

  • Author

    Benjamin Schuetze, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
    Benjamin Schuetze is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Freiburg and Research Associate at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI). His research has been supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and has appeared in journals including Cooperation and Conflict and Security Dialogue, as well as on Al Jazeera and Jadaliyya.

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