Known until the first half of the twentieth century as Transjordan, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has a relatively recent history. Gained independence from the British Mandate in 1946, it became a constitutional monarchy ruled by the Hashemite dynasty. After the death of King Hussein, considered the father of the contemporary Jordanian state, since 1999 it has been ruled by King Abdullah II, a monarch appreciated by the international community for his skilled skills as a mediator and for his pro-Western politics. Due to its geographical position, political structure and historical heritage, over the years Jordan has found itself offering refuge to the peoples of neighboring states, frequently involved in internal and international conflicts. This explains the demographic diversity, characterized by the significant presence of Palestinians, Iraqis and, lately, Syrians. Jordanian history is strongly connected to regional dynamics and in particular to the Palestinian question, especially as a result of the high number of refugees who escaped the Arab-Israeli conflicts of 1948 and 1967, and took refuge in the country. To date, Palestinian refugees in Jordan number nearly two million, and it is estimated that well over half of the population has the same origins. The growing presence of Palestinians has always been seen by Jordanian citizens as a threat and has provoked the emergence of social unrest and nationalist claims. This is also why the Jordanian Palestinians have always complained of discrimination in terms of civil rights and political representation. About that, the war in Gaza in July-August 2014 represented a new source of concern for Amman due to the fear that the violence so far confined in the Strip could also spread to the West Bank, causing a new wave of Palestinian refugees to Jordan and fueling old tensions never dormant between the two communities residing in the kingdom. In the Middle Eastern context, Jordan is, with Egypt, the only Arab country to have signed a peace treaty with Israel (October 26, 1994), which normalized relations between the two countries. Since its inception, the country has had privileged relations with the Western world: at first with the United Kingdom and, in recent decades, with the United States,Born in the USA. A strategic alliance, the one with the United States, also strengthened by the terrorist threat of the Islamic State (Is), which placed the Hashemite territory, together with Lebanon, Sinai and Israel, as one of the territories on which to extend the Islamic caliphate proclaimed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To feed Amman’s fears about the stability of its security there are several factors directly connected to each other, such as the significant presence of Salafist cells on Jordanian soil, the increasing number of Syrian refugees – now also Iraqi – and the widespread popular discontent in the most depressed areas of the country. These factors could be exploited by jihadists to proselytize and to destabilize a strategic territory in the balance of the region. In order to avoid a spillover effect, the government has launched a series of operations both internally – more restrictive anti-terrorism laws and careful border patrols – and externally. In particular, on the international front, the Hashemite monarchy has decided to play its regional role opposite the West, taking part, limited to the aspects of intelligence and support, the coalition anti Isled by the United States. Also in order to create as broad a stability front as possible in the Middle East against the threats coming from the Syrian-Iraqi corridor, Jordan has forged privileged relations with the Gulf countries, to which it approached after the start of the Spring Arabs. The fear that the wave of protests against totalitarian regimes would also reach the Arabian Peninsula led, in fact, to a process of strengthening monarchical identities in the Arab world, in which Jordan was also involved. The small Hashemite country is, therefore, the beneficiary of huge flows of money (mainly from Saudi Arabia), destined to contain popular protests and manage the repercussions of the Syrian crisis.. In 2011, Jordan was invited with Morocco to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
From an internal point of view, political power is firmly in the hands of the king, also by virtue of the tribal bond that unites it to the trans-Jordanian component, the greatest consensus of the royal family. King Abdullah II also benefits from the support of the Jordanian army and security forces. Since 2011, Jordan has also been the scene of popular demonstrations, albeit always contained and never aimed at provoking a regime overthrow. In response to this, the king launched a reform program aimed above all at weakening the opposition constituted by the Islamic Action Front (Iaf, political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood), which has boycotted the elections since 1997. However, the monarchy has not managed to reduce the widespread popular discontent due above all to the high levels of unemployment, the rise in prices and the very high corruption that prevails in the public sector.
According to itypeusa, the failure of repeated attempts at reform led to the change of numerous prime ministers by the king: the most recent took place in October 2012, with the appointment of Abdullah Ensour, which was confirmed, among other things, for the first time. in the history of the country, by the parliament (and not by the king) formed following the last elections of January 2013. The parliament is composed of a lower chamber, that of deputies, elected by universal suffrage and which, following the electoral reform of June 2012, it increased from 120 to 150 members – 27 of which were elected for the first time on a national basis through blocked lists and 15 reserved for women, thus marking an increase in the previous female quota which stood at twelve seats. The second is the upper house, made up of 75 members and entirely appointed by the king.