Jordan: The Geopolitical Service Provider

Type Book
Title Jordan: The Geopolitical Service Provider
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Publisher JSTOR
Jordan is in the eye of the Arab cyclone. It remains stable while surrounded by chaotic political situations in Syria,
Iraq, Palestine and the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan has not experienced the massive demonstrations aimed at regime
change that have been seen elsewhere in the region, and its relative stability has enabled it to cash in on the geopolitical
services it provides. These services include: hosting refugees from Palestine, Iraq or Syria; remaining a
reliable ally for many international powers; featuring a strong army that plays a stabilizing role in the region; serving
as an intermediary when neighboring countries need a host or a dealmaker; and providing qualified Jordanian
workers to fill open vacancies for companies and countries, especially in the Gulf. The current stability in Jordan
matches well its historic capacity to resist and adapt to shocks. However, the contemporary situation of the labor
market reveals that the weaknesses observed in the countries having experienced revolutions (e.g., Tunisia and
Egypt) are also present in Jordan; labor market participation is low with very few women active, and the unemployment
rate of educated young people is worrisome. Both the number of Jordanians working abroad and the number
of migrant workers in Jordan show the discrepancy between demand and supply of labor in Jordan. This could
become problematic, since the economic situation has been worsening, notably with fewer public jobs available.
Hence there is a need for international donors to keep supporting Jordan in a difficult regional environment, for the
government of Jordan to wittily manage the balance between Transjordanians and West Bankers in the near future
and for new workers to alter their expectations in searching for opportunities outside the public sector.

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