Date of Award

1-1-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Nader Hashemi, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Andrea Stanton, Ph.D.

Keywords

Antonio Gramsci, Civil society, Oppositional politics

Abstract

Patron-clientelism or wasta in Jordan is a historically engrained institution that crosses social, political and economic spheres. For those with sufficient resources to enter into its system of exchange, patron-clientelism grants access to university admissions, government privileges and employment. For those without sufficient resources, patron-clientelism creates a barrier to entry that sustains the marginalized status of persons from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Most scholarship about patron-clientelism portrays it as something dynamic, inherently neither morally constructive nor problematic but with the potential to be both. By focusing on various historical manifestations of patron-clientelism, such scholarship detracts attention from its reprehensible effects. Posing as value-free, this literature implicitly apologizes for patron-clientelism and reinforces the entrenched political and economic structures it reflects.

To step beyond existing literature surrounding patron-clientelism - the perpetually expanding but only marginally helpful registry of ways in which it manifests - requires deeper consideration of its effect. This thesis will argue that in the case of Jordan, patron-clientelism tends to function in the service of dominant fundamental social groups and at the expense of subaltern classes. Using Antonio Gramsci's civil society, patron-clientelism in Jordan will be shown to operate as a mechanism of authoritarian resiliency and a means of debilitating oppositional political currents. By understanding its existing ramifications in depth, potential for redirecting the function of patron-clientelism toward alternative and oppositional effects can be realized.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Stephen James Preisig

File size

107 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

International relations

Share

COinS