On this week’s podcast, Janine Clark discusses her new book Local Politics in Jordan and Morocco: Strategies of Centralization and Decentralization (Columbia University Press, 2018). This book examines why Morocco decentralized while Jordan did not and evaluates the impact of their divergent paths, ultimately explaining how authoritarian regimes can use decentralization reforms to consolidate power.

“Jordan needs a much stronger party system so not everything’s reliant on tribal alliances that sort of transfer resources down. But with the system as it is, there’s no way out of it. And many of [the Jordanian] mayors actually weren’t getting any perks themselves but they were at the whim of other elites who use their connections in Amman to pressure mayors to do things.”

Janine Clark is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Guelph. She is the author of Islam, Charity, and Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen (2004) and coeditor of Economic Liberalization, Democratization, and Civil Society in the Developing World (2000).

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Local Politics in Jordan and Morocco: A Conversation with Janine Clark