Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Sarah Lockhart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Caley Johnson, Ph.D.


Water scarcity in Jordan has, for decades, been a serious source of political tension domestically and abroad. In this tumultuous region, political stability or lack thereof determines many aspects of social life. Jordan has been resilient in the face of wars and insurgencies, most recently the 2011 Arab Spring protests, which led to the toppling of authoritarian governments and the ongoing Syrian Civil War. The case study on the provision of water in Jordan is relevant due to its location in a region with an arid and semiarid climate, as well as its unstable geopolitical neighbors. Institutions have an effect on the social cohesion of countries and therefore are worthy indicators of the deeply rooted causes of political stability. In this paper, I argue that instead of aligning its interests with the elites as expected, the royal family of Jordan, and by extent its government, has managed the provision of water to balance the interests of the shadow state and the rest of the population. Therefore, Jordan's success in remaining stable lies in its institutional dynamics in which the provision of water has a significant impact. Understanding how some of the members of this increasingly volatile have managed to remain stable is crucial towards advancing civil peace.