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Seeking justice: Tribal dispute resolution and societal transformation in Jordan

Watkins, Jessica (2014) Seeking justice: Tribal dispute resolution and societal transformation in Jordan. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 46 (1). pp. 31-49. ISSN 0020-7438

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S002074381300127X


In Jordan, tribal dispute settlements have played a pivotal role in the management of various types of grievances between individuals since long before the establishment of the modern state. To varying degrees, Jordanians—from the East and West Banks, Muslim and Christian, urban and rural—cherish the kinship networks associated with these procedures, and the ʿaṭwa (truce) and ṣulḥ (reconciliation) processes remain time-honored mechanisms for preventing revenge and making amends for wrongs committed. However, under the state's influence, the purpose of observing tribal settlements is evolving within an increasingly heterogeneous society. Drawing on documentary analysis combined with ethnographic material from across the kingdom, this article investigates the current status of tribal dispute resolution traditions among different sectors of the population. I argue that observance of such traditions can signify conformity with the hegemonic values that the state promotes as well as resistance to aspects of state control.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 13:16
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 05:24

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