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Title: The social origins of Hashemite rule : Bedouin, fallah and state on the East Bank
Author: Tell, Tariq Moraiwed
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2001
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Two paradoxes on the literature on modern Jordan have inspired this research. First, the Hashemite regime in Amman has proved the most durable of those installed under Mandatory tutelage in the Arab East after World War L Yet Jordan's cohesion has either gone unremarked, or else been attributed to the personal qualities of 'Abdallah ibn al-Husayn, or Hussein ibn Talal, who between them ruled Jordan for most of its existence as a separate state. Secondly, while there is widespread scholarly support for the idea that East Bank "tribesmen" dominated the security services and formed the mainstay of Hashemite rule, there is little consideration of the material interests that have bound these actors to the regime. Nor has account been taken of the fact that the rural hinterlands from which they originate have been neglected, and that this has been a cause of the outbreaks in southern Jordan that have marked the most serious challenge to the stability of Hashemite rule in recent times. The following thesis attempts to resolve these paradoxes by investigating the social origins of Hashemite rule, charting the historical formation of the state·centric political economy that bound the Bedouin and fallahin to the throne. The argument that follows locates the material sources of Hashemite power in the evolution of a "Hashemite compact" established in Mandatory t imes and still in operation in the East Bank today. The pact exchanged political loyalty for security of livelihood and made public employment (and military service in particular) the chief source of succour for East Bankers. A protean form of this compact can be discerned during the Great Arab Revolt. It was expanded and the loyalty of the Bedouin was cemented during the 1930s when John Bagot Glubb extended the authority of the Mandatory state into the steppe east of the Hijaz railway. After 1948, the compact was expanded to embrace virtually the entire East Bank population as the Arab legion was enlarged and recruitment spread to the villages and camps of the settled zone in the 1950s and 1960s. Cloaked in the paraphernalia of Sharifian legitimacy and Hashemite Arabism, the economic dependence of the East Bankers allowed the monarchy to survive the onslaught of Nasserism between 1954 and 1964 and Palestinian nationalism between 1964 and 1971. The economic boom of the 1970s brought political stability as well as rapid economic growth but paradoxically, also eroded the efficacy of the compact. The prosperity engendered by the inflow of rents and remittances concentrated itself in Amman, Irbid and their environs. As boom turned to bust in the 1980s, the East Bank hinterlands began to show an increasing disenchantment at their steady marginalization in economic life. With the onset of economic crisis in 1988, cracks in the Hashemite compact became apparent. A rising tide of protests eventually culminated in major austerity riots in April, 1989 that brought a search for new forms of Hashemite rule.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available