Insurgencies and Democratization

Abstract

International media brings attention to the worst conflicts worldwide. When ISIS beheads journalists, like Foley and Sotloff (Vourvoulias, 2014) journalists around the globe turn their editorial dockets to these heinous actions. Yet, it is easy to pay attention to conflict when it becomes severe, i.e., escalates to the level of war. It’s no wonder that the Arab/Israeli conflict has such a plethora of literature and media attention while tensions in places like Jordan, right next door, have not. However, Jordan is an example of a negative case: a country that has, despite its significant tensions, not experienced large-scale violence in the tumultuous post Arab-Spring context of the Middle East. The importance of studying negative cases cannot be overemphasized. Not only are these cases traditionally overlooked in academic literature and the media alike, they provide important insights as to what is really going on in terms of conflict. What factors keep states like Jordan from devolving into large-scale violence?

 

Jordan: A Negative Case in a Tumultuous Region

International media brings attention to the worst conflicts worldwide. When ISIS beheads journalists, like Foley and Sotloff (Vourvoulias, 2014) journalists around the globe turn their editorial dockets to these heinous actions. Yet, it is easy to pay attention to conflict when it becomes severe, i.e., escalates to the level of war. It’s no wonder that the Arab/Israeli conflict has such a plethora of literature and media attention while tensions in places like Jordan, right next door, have not. However, Jordan is an example of a negative case: a country that has, despite its significant tensions, not experienced large-scale violence in the tumultuous post Arab-Spring context of the Middle East. The importance of studying negative cases cannot be overemphasized. Not only are these cases traditionally overlooked in academic literature and the media alike, they provide important insights as to what is really going on in terms of conflict. What factors keep states like Jordan from devolving into large-scale violence?

 

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