In April 1989, economic riots triggered a political liberalization process in Jordan. Initially promising, the political opening was first sidetracked at the time of the Madrid conference in 1991 and had effectively stalled by summer 1994, as the government changed the electoral and other laws and curbed public freedoms. In chronicling the retreats in liberalization from 1991 to the present, the author argues that while there have been numerous pressures on the Jordanian political system since 1989, one can draw clear causal relationships between these retreats and developments in the "peace process".
Laurie A. Brand is associate professor of international relations and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California. Her most recent book is Women, the State, and Political Liberalization: Middle Eastern and North African Experiences (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998). She is grateful to the School of International Relations for support for numerous trips to Jordan.