Political Instability in Jordan

Political Instability in Jordan

Deepened political instability and civil violence in Jordan triggered by spillover from the Syrian civil war


Jordan’s political stability is threatened by the influx of large members of refugees and other spillover effects from the Syrian civil war. More than 620,000 refugees have flooded across the border since 2011—in addition to Jordan’s two million Palestinian refugees—severely draining Jordan’s economy and limited natural resources.

Despite efforts to assimilate the growing population, Jordanian security forces have arrested Syrians or forcibly deported them, according to Amnesty International. Jordan’s Zaatari camp—the biggest of the Syrian refugee encampment—has an estimated 80,000 inhabitants.

The Jordanian monarchy has introduced political and economic reforms to improve conditions, but its efforts have not succeeded in quelling political dissent or mitigating unemployment. Jordanians are further divided among secular lines as political groups—such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, the Islamic Action Front—splinter due to ongoing sectarian conflicts in the region, particularly in Syria and Egypt.

These external challenges threaten to exacerbate internal insecurity and heighten dissatisfaction with the monarchy. The United States has stationed approximately 1,700 troops in the kingdom and is the country’s largest aid donor, but Jordan continues to ask for greater assistance with border surveillance and reconnaissance to address further spillover from the war.

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