The state and the socio-economic development of Jordan 1973-1985
This study questions the basic assumption on which state-centred development has been based, namely, that it acts in the general interests of society and can bring about economic development, and attempts to provide an explanation of the ineffectiveness of the state's project in restructuring the economy by analysing the development of the political economy of Jordan in the wake of the 1973-4 oil boom. This explanation rests on arguing that the state's ability to intervene in the economy is constrained by the particular power configuration that gives it its legitimacy and the necessity to maintain the prominence, influence and authority of the key social forces. In other words, the restructuring of the economy implies a change in the internal power structures of the state as well as its external linkages that have been the basis of its legitimacy and the source of its economic power. The problem, then, is not merely a matter of state inefficiency and misuse of funds but a more deep- rooted structural problem that touches on the essential features of the organisation of state power and its legitimacy and in that respect the state is not a neutral force above society but a partisan force for maintaining the existing power structures. Thus the concentration of capital in the hands of the state during the oil boom period and the expanded role of the state in the economy produced prosperity for the dominant social forces while marginalising a large part of the population and resulted in a deep rooted crisis in the state sector and the economy in general and called into question the feasibility of state-led development and required critical analysis of the role of the state in development.