The Identity Crisis in Jordan: Historical Pathways and Contemporary Debates

  • Citation: Salameh, Mohammed Torki Bani, and Khalid Issa El-Edwan. “The Identity Crisis in Jordan: Historical Pathways and Contemporary Debates.” Nationalities Papers 44, no. 6 (2016): 985–1002.
    • Topics:
    • Movements for Inclusion
    • Keywords:
    • national identity
    • crisis
    • Jordan
    • regime

This study aims to identify the attempts to form a Jordanian national identity from the establishment of the Jordanian state in 1921 to date. This study reviews the efforts of the Jordanian state, which was subject to internal, external, political, social, economic, and cultural circumstances, and variables that led to change the Jordanian national identity to incorporate religious, national, regional, ethnic, and tribal aspects. The regime has been unable to address and resolve the issue of national identity; instead, it has tried several means to circumvent the problem of national identity. The identity card is a means that the regime has used to achieve its goals. These policies led to the state’s failure to define, establish, and maintain a comprehensive national identity for its citizens. The formation of a national identity has been a dilemma for Jordan since the establishment of the state; there is almost no known national identity. This situation calls for the construction of the Jordanian national identity on a fixed and clear basis to prevent its disintegration, to facilitate the process of social integration, and to build a final national identity that is both inclusive and representative. Without this identity, division and conflict may prevail in Jordanian society.