Anne Marie Baylouny
2006 International Journal of Middle East Studies  
In the decade and a half since economic liberalization began in Jordan, a little noticed but large-scale organizing trend has taken over the formal provision of social welfare, redefining the institutional conception of familial identity in the process. For over one third of the population, kin solidarities have been reorganized, formalized, and registered as nongovernmental organizations in an attempt to cope with the removal of basic social provisioning by the state. Although kinship clearly
more » ... as been a major element in Jordan's history, the present phenomena alter traditional familial institutions, change kin lineages, and institutionalize the economic salience of family relations. In turn, the relationship of the populace to the state has changed, marginalizing previously regime-supporting groups and facilitating the implementation of economic neoliberalism without significant protest. Repackaged as charitable elements of civil society, these family associations are sanctioned and encouraged by the state and international community. Although they are not regime creations, family associations reinforce the Jordanian regime's efforts at political deliberalization. The new elites who head the organizations have been placated through indirect incorporation into the regime; they now wield significant economic power over fellow kin and have enhanced social status backed by the new group. Furthermore, the trend mainly consists of families without immediate ambitions of entering national politics. These are not the traditional elite families.
doi:10.1017/s0020743806412381 fatcat:cl4zk4wgszdl5hhhv4rhrd4ziu