Dr. Jillian Schwedler is Assistant Professor of Government
and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park.
She received her PhD in Politics from New York University
in September 2000. Her articles have appeared in Journal
of Democracy, Comparative Politics, Journal of Palestine
Studies, Middle East Report, and other journals, as
well as in several edited volumes. Her book manuscript,
Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen
is currently under review.
Dr. Schwedler has received awards and fellowships from
the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Foundation
(Jordan, 1996), the Council of American Overseas Research
Centers, the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, and
the Law and Society Association. She has conducted extensive
field research in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen, and has traveled
throughout the Middle East.
Dr. Schwedler is currently Chair of the Board of Directors
of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP),
publishers of the quarterly journal, Middle East Report.
She is also Secretary of the Palestinian American Research
Center and a member of the Editorial Board of the New
England Journal of Political Science. From 1991-1995,
she was Program Officer for the Civil Society in the Middle
East Project at New York University, which was funded by
the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.
Dr. Schwedler's current research interests include protest
and policing, political Islam, contentious politics, democratization,
political culture, and transnational public spheres.
Understanding the Contemporary Middle East, with
Deborah Gerner, 2nd ed. Boulder, Lynne Rienner, 2003. (Forthcoming.)
Toward Civil Society in the Middle East? (Boulder:
Lynne Rienner, 1995)
Islamist Movements in Jordan (Amman: Urdun al-Jadid,
If You Build It, They Will Divide: Protest, Policing,
and Ethnic Conflict in Jordan
Marches and other forms of public protests are among the
more highly visible demonstrations of ethnic, religious,
and sectarian divides. While strategies of policing protest
often illustrate state actors' desire to suppress these
activities, certain policing techniques may actually serve
as mechanisms for exacerbating ethnic divides. In this project,
I will examine ethnic conflict in Jordan as a "middle"
case on the NCS-proposed continuum-where ethnic divides
are present but historically have not been consistently
contentious. In the current political climate, the Palestinian-Jordanian
divide is again at the center of domestic conflict. By examining
protest activities and how they have been policed from the
early-1990s to the present, I will explore several related
questions: 1) Is there a strong empirical base for the argument
that certain policing techniques exacerbate ethnic conflict?
2) What is the variation of such policing techniques across
the various security agencies that monitor protest events
in Jordan? 3) Where policing techniques do exacerbate ethnic
conflicts, is this behavior purposeful? That is, do state
actors intend for the policing to contribute to ethnic divides,
or are these techniques more the product of local logics,
stemming from on-the-ground decisions and the biases of
officers and their immediate supervisors? And finally, 4)
are patterns in both protest activity and policing in Jordan
related to the waxing and waning of the conflict in neighboring