State Interests and Public Spheres: The International Politics of Jordan's Identity

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Overview

The rise of a public sphere in Jordan after 1988 has deeply shaped its domestic and foreign policies as well as its national identity. This highly original study -- the first application of Habermasian public sphere theory to international relations -- explores the relationship among identity, interests, and foreign policy, employing contemporary Jordan to explore the changing dynamics of the Arab regional system. Going beyond regime- and state-centered models employed by most political scientists, Lynch emphasizes the print media as a barometer of public opinion -- one that affects the decision-making of political leaders.

State Interests and Public Spheres looks at the four pivotal events that have defined Jordan's place in the emerging Middle Eastern order -- the nation's 1988 severing of ties with the West Bank, its peace treaty with Israel, its decision not to join the coalition against Iraq during the Gulf crisis in 1990, and its subsequent resolution to turn against Iraq in 1995. Drawing from Arabic-language newspapers and interviews in the region, Lynch reinterprets the transition to democracy in Jordan, the relationship between "Jordanians" and Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origin, and the nature of civil society in Jordan.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Barnett
Shifting our attention from international to domestic politics, Lynch provocatively argues that [Jordan´s recent] foreign policy changes are due to debates occurring within a changing public sphere over what is Jordan´s identity and what are Jordanian national interests. At once theoretically challenging and historically rich, State Interests and Public Spheres is a book that will engage scholars of Middle Eastern politics and international relations.
Middle East Journal
The depth of research for this book is simply superb, and the text of the empirical chapters demonstrates this while still flowing smoothly and cogently...For the empirical detail alone, this book should be required reading for all students of Jordanian politics.
Booknews
Drawing on field work conducted in Jordan during 18 months in the mid- 1990s, as well as shorter visits to Egypt, Jerusalem, and the West Bank, a political scientist explores some of the major international political events in Jordan during the period after 1988, providing both historical and international political context but emphasizing public debate on the issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231113236
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Lynch is assistant professor of political science at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

One: State Interests and Public SpheresTwo: The Public Sphere Structure of International PoliticsThree: Who Says Jordan Is Palestine?Four: Jordan Is Jordan: Jordanian Debates over Jordanian-Palestinian RelationsFive: Jordan in the Gulf Crisis: The Construction of Public OpinionSix: The Jordanian-Israeli Peace Process: Publicity, Interests, and BargainingSeven: New Jordan, New Middle East?Eight: Abandoning Iraq?Nine: Identity and the Politics of Public Spheres

Columbia University Press

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