Jordan: A Failed State? | View Points | Ammon News

Jordan: A Failed State?

[6/9/2018 7:21:40 PM]

AMMONNEWS -By Madeleine Mezagopian- The Fragile States Index (FSI,) formerly called Failed States Index, appears among the quantitative measurement tools of state failure. Through adopting socioeconomic and political indicators e.g. demographic pressures, poverty and economic decline and corruption, in its list for 2016 FSI ranked Jordan within the category with features that renders its society and institutions vulnerable to failure.

Some scholars focus on the capacity and effectiveness of the government to determine if a state is failed or not (Patrick, S. 2007). While J. Goldstone in his paper Pathways to State Failure (2008) defines a failed state as one that has lost both its effectiveness and legitimacy with the former meaning the capability to carry out state functions and the latter involves the support of important groups of the population.

The current developments in Jordan clearly indicate the government with its two components executive and legislative authorities failed in carrying out its functions which resulted in losing the support and confidence of important segments of its people.

Jordanian people protesting against the decisions taken by the executive authority reflects the failure of the legislative authority that failed in promoting and advocating peoples’ aspirations, wishes and interests and not least failed to adequately monitor the performance of the executive authority and bringing to justice those who depleted the national treasury. Whereas the three interrelated outcomes of the bad performance of the executive authority throughout the years, unemployment, poverty and inflation, is very much linked to the shrinking middle class in Jordan the key employer which has been negatively impacted by the investment law, financial policies and market monopoly by the few linked to or themselves having privileged status.

Through resorting to the socioeconomic and political indicators adopted in measuring the fragility of a state, several factors inter alia poverty, economic decline and corruption indicate Jordan’s fragility as a state. As with regard demographic pressures, the crucial argument of the Jordanian government in eclipsing its failure, yes Jordan did and continue to suffer of demographic pressures of influx of refugees the last several decades with accompanying socioeconomic and security challenges especially in the aftermath of the proxy war in Syria. However, Jordan with its limited natural sources and sensitive geographic location abandoned its viable foreign policy of neutrality resulting in antagonizing states in the region and beyond and losing their in kind and financial support.

Diverse pressures beyond the control of the Jordanian government were further aggravated with failed executive and legislative authorities, but foremost through deep rooted and widespread corruption that left no sector untouched including those dealing with the most vulnerable segments of the society.
This said, Jordan’s standing in the FSI did improve during 2011-2016 foremost with HM King Abdullah II championing political reforms. Yes bridges are rebuilt between the Monarch of Jordan and the Jordanian people with the ongoing concern of the Monarch in and apt directives towards alleviating the hardships of Jordanians. However, the sustainability of these bridges warrant restructuring yet another element of the government the Royal Court, that is entrusted with the responsibility of and has a crucial role in delivering the Monarch's visions and concerns, not least securing open channels between the Monarch and the Jordanian family, especially the excluded intellectual elites of Jordan. The excluded intellectual elites and Jordan’s youth in general who together with Jordan’s security apparatus vehemently revived Jordan’s culture of peace and gained worldwide respect during and post the peaceful protests and emerged as the true heroes of Jordan.

Last but not least, it is imperative to underline that security issues did gain priority over political reforms, a prerequisite for economic prosperity; given Jordan neighbouring conflicts hit countries, in addition to homemade extremists. But it is equally crucial to highlight Jordan remains in the warn category of Fragile States Index and appointing a prime minister of high credibility and integrity without dissolving the parliament and calling for new parliamentary elections most probably with new elections law, and without uprooting corruption in all its forms and restructuring key institutions is a recipe for Jordan to become a failed state.

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