Although use of the term 'political Islam' is now widespread among western media commentators and policymakers, there remains insufficient understanding of political Islamist parties and movements in the Middle East and North Africa on the part of European and North American governments. There is also a striking lack of official engagement with these movements, even though in many cases they constitute the most organised opposition to existing authoritarian regimes.
This report is part of a wider ippr project on the role of political Islamists in political reform processes in the Middle East and North Africa (known as the MENA region). The aim of the project is to deepen understanding of the various forms of political Islam, to counter common misperceptions and, in so doing, to help generate more thoughtful and constructive policy responses towards it. An earlier report on reform in Morocco discusses the objectives and context for the project in more detail.
Reform in Jordan identifies four areas in which western policymakers could improve their current efforts to support reform processes in Jordan. The recommendations are discussed in more detail in the final section:
- Actively encourage the Jordanian regime to follow through on its reform promises
- Display more consistency in supporting human rights in Jordan
- Support the development of participatory politics and civil society in Jordan
- Seek opportunities for dialogue and engagement with political opposition groups in Jordan, including the IAF.
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