State Strength, Permeability, and Foreign Policy Behavior: Jordan in Theoretical Perspective

By Salloukh, Bassel F. | Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), Spring 1996 | Go to article overview

State Strength, Permeability, and Foreign Policy Behavior: Jordan in Theoretical Perspective


Salloukh, Bassel F., Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)


A growing body of literature is advocating the utility of bringing the study of Middle East politics into theoretical debates informing contemporary political science.(1) In an early formulation of this appeal, Lisa Anderson contended that if Middle East studies abandons its "traditional parochialism, . . . political science will find a challenging and illuminating area in which to develop and test new understandings of how politics work."(2) Rashid Khalidi, in his 1994 presidential address to the Middle East Studies Association, argued that the only way to contest claims that "there is a dearth of theoretically interesting work in the Middle East field" is to demonstrate that "work of interest to the central concerns of [the social sciences]" is being done in this field.(3) In the specialized disciplines of Middle East and comparative politics, both Anderson's and Khalidi's objectives may be realized by demonstrating the potential contributions of the study of Middle East politics to theory-building in the larger discipline of comparative politics. One way to achieve this is by revisiting specific cases whose theoretical value has hitherto been ignored by both regional specialists and comparative scholars. This essay attempts to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach by revisiting Jordan's recent political history, specifically, the era extending from the mid-1950s until roughly the early 1970s.

Although a crucial period in the kingdom's political history, students of Jordan have approached this era in a largely descriptive way.(4) Hussein's biographers have also romanticized this era by overemphasizing his personal qualities and prowess as salient factors enabling him to survive the myriad challenges upon his person and regime during those turbulent years.(5) However such explanations of the Hashemite regime's survival hinder attempts to demonstrate the potential contributions of Middle East comparative politics and foreign policy analysis to theory-building in similar sub-fields across other developing regions. Hence the need to revisit this definitive period of Jordan's history and subject it to a scrutiny that, simultaneously, provides a better explanation of the regime's survival and highlights its comparative theoretical implications.

A small state actor located in a permeable regional system and endeavoring to survive regional and domestic threats, Jordan lends itself to an exploration that underscores the domestic determinants of foreign policy behavior, and the relation between foreign policy behavior and regime consolidation, legitimization, and hence survival. Toward this end, this article reconstructs the Hashemite regime's multi-level, interactive survival strategy (henceforth Husseinism) during the aforementioned period and places it within the preceding theoretical framework. In part, this study attempts to complement, but move away from, the two dominant intellectual traditions in the analysis of foreign policy behavior in the Middle East: the realist and the psychological/perceptual approaches.(6) Instead of looking at states or the decision-making elite, this article looks into states, particularly at the domestic factors and political dynamics that constrain and determine foreign policy behavior, and consequently, at the instrumental use of foreign policy for purposes of regime legitimacy and consolidation.

The purpose of this article is to explain the success of Husseinism. "Success" (the dependent variable) refers to the ability of the regime to retain power and control over the political process, and to neutralize the disruptive effects of trans-national ideologies on the domestic political arena. This article contends that the survival of the Hashemite regime in power, and the decline of an active Palestinian or Arab nationalist challenge, may be explained by four explanatory variables: a successful insulatory regional policy, the historical process of state formation, the availability of economic resources under state control, and the ability of the state to use its coercive resources without hindrance. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

State Strength, Permeability, and Foreign Policy Behavior: Jordan in Theoretical Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.