The Periphery Converges on the Center: The Spatial Dynamics of Political Protests in Amman’s Built Environment

Jillian Schwedler (City University of New York)

In the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the state’s political geography is incongruent with its geography of neoliberal investment. That is, large portions of the regime’s traditional East Bank tribal support base are located in areas outside of the major zones of urban investment, and they are deeply resentful of those projects and angry at the regime for what they believe is neglect of their own towns and rural areas of tribal authority. This presentation will examine the spatial investments in Jordan’s capital, Amman, and the ways in which large portions of Amman are neglected which others see dramatic growth, and sometimes whole neighborhoods are displaced by megaprojects and amenities that only a small portion of the population can access. The unemployed march from the economic periphery to the capital to protest and demand jobs, and their protests both shape and are shaped by the urban built environment.