Community activism in Jordan (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 957).



Identify a selection of current examples of community activism in Jordan. What trends in community organising and participation have been noted by observers, particularly since the Arab Spring?

Key findings

Protests in Jordan have been largely peaceful but unsuccessful in achieving real change. They have centred on improving governance, democracy and socio-economic conditions, not on overthrowing the regime. All strata of society have been involved. Findings include the following:

  • Most of the recent protests in Jordan revolve around the socio-economic situation.
  • Some segments of the Jordanian population have been pressing for a more democratic electoral system for several years.
  • Ethnic tensions are seen as a hindrance to democratic reform, despite broad calls for reform across identity groups.
  • A culture of patronage affects community activism in Jordan.
  • There is a small community of women’s activists in Jordan, often supported by external donors. It has been taking slow steps towards mostly legislative changes. Attempts to improve women’s status and rights have had to be very carefully framed.
  • The response of the monarchy to public unrest has been piecemeal and superficial.


Browne, E. Community activism in Jordan (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 957). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2013) 10 pp.

Community activism in Jordan (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 957).

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