Ryan, Curtis R. Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah.

PositionBook Review

Ryan, Curtis R. Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002. Hardcover $ 49.95.

The book presents an account of transition in Jordan since the April 1989 upheaval. Curtis begins with a brief overview of Jordan's political history since its founding in 1921. He examines the four dramatic transitions in Jordan's politics: the 1989 political liberalization and democratization, economic adjustment, the signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, and the 1999 succession from king Hussein to his son king Abdullah II. It is also the tale of survival of the Jordanian monarchy since Jordan's policies intended "not just to ensure the security of Jordan as a state, but also to ensure the survival of Jordan as a Hashimite monarchy" (p. 82).

Although the book focuses on the four transitions, which Curtis contends to be principal issues in understanding Jordanian politics, and presents a somewhat extensive account of those events, the brief historical overview of Jordanian politics presented earlier in the text alone is insufficient for those unfamiliar with the history of the region in general and Jordan in particular. More history is required to explain those transitions. In particular, the democratic experience of the 1950s and the impact of the 1987 Palestinian Intifada on Jordanian politics, especially the annulment of the 1952 Union with the West Bank, which, in effect, relinquished Jordan's claim to the West Bank, need to be more emphasized.

Be that as it may, the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT