Cover image for A History of Jordan
A History of Jordan
Robins, Philip.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 243 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 24 cm

Format :


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Material Type
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DS154.5 .R63 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Philip Robins' survey of Jordan's political history begins in the early 1920s, continues through the years of the British Mandate, and traces events over the next half century to the present day. Throughout the period, the country's fortunes were closely identified with its head of state, King Hussein, until his death in 1999. In the early days, as the author testifies, the king's prospects were often regarded as grim. However, both King and country survived a variety of existential challenges, from assassination attempts and internal subversion, to a civil war with the Palestine Liberation Organisation and, in the 1970s and 1980s, Jordan emerged as an apparently stable and prosperous state. However, King Hussein's death, the succession of his son, Abdullah II, and recent political upheavals have plunged the country back into uncertainty. This is an incisive account, compellingly told, about one of the leading players in the Middle East. Philip Robins is University Lecturer in Politics with special reference to the Middle East in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. His most recent book is Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy since the Cold War (2003).

Author Notes

Philip Robins is University Lecturer in Politics with special reference to the Middle East in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. Antony's College.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. ix
List of tables and mapsp. x
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Chronologyp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
1 On the Edge of Empirep. 5
Transjordan and its 'dark ages'p. 6
The Ottoman state and its impactp. 8
The post-First World War limbop. 12
2 Founding State and Regimep. 16
Abdullah's consolation prizep. 17
The Sharifian momentp. 20
Regime politics: incorporating social groupsp. 23
Britain and the fate of Transjordanp. 27
Towards administrative consolidationp. 31
3 The Long Road to Independencep. 35
Creating political institutionsp. 36
Incorporating the tribal peripheryp. 40
Political affairs in the Emiratep. 44
Risks and opportunities in the regionp. 47
The Second World Warp. 52
Independence, at lastp. 56
4 Loss of Innocencep. 59
The onset of strifep. 60
A Hashemite dreamp. 64
Unity across the Jordanp. 70
The death of a kingp. 74
5 The Roaring Fiftiesp. 79
A second successionp. 80
New social realitiesp. 82
The accession of Husseinp. 87
The Baghdad Pact and the ousting of Glubbp. 91
The radical challenge from withinp. 94
A coup from the palacep. 99
Rebuilding stabilityp. 102
6 The Road to Disasterp. 105
Wasfi al-Tall and the restp. 106
The drive for economic developmentp. 111
Conflicts across the regionp. 114
The awakening of Palestinian nationalismp. 117
The 1967 warp. 120
Managing the aftermathp. 124
Bloody conflict withinp. 129
7 Illusions of Progressp. 133
Two peoples, one statep. 134
The Road to Rabatp. 136
The October warp. 140
Oil wealth without oilp. 141
The temptation of Camp Davidp. 146
Hussein and Saddam: the odd couplep. 149
Limited domestic reformp. 154
Process, but no peacep. 158
West Bank disengagementp. 163
8 Hussein's Choicesp. 165
While Jordan burnsp. 166
Liberalisation for austerityp. 170
The National Charterp. 174
The Iraq-Kuwait crisisp. 176
The 'break' with Iraqp. 180
Structural adjustmentp. 181
Hussein's gamble on peacep. 184
Democratisation on the backburnerp. 187
Uphill struggle for normalisationp. 190
A messy successionp. 193
9 Abdullah's First Stepsp. 198
Notesp. 205
Bibliographyp. 224
Indexp. 233