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From Negative to Positive Stability

From Negative to Positive Stability: How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordan's Outlook

Ben Connable
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 72
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  • Book Info
    From Negative to Positive Stability
    Book Description:

    This report’s analytic forecasts should help the United States determine how to support Jordan as it faces the Syrian refugee crisis. Jordanians are dissatisfied with many aspects of their government, but the chaos in neighboring states has thus far deterred civil or violent actions. If Jordan wisely invests international refugee support, it can increase popular opinion by improving the lives of Syrian refugees and Jordanian citizens.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9347-9
    Subjects: History, Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Table (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary (pp. ix-xii)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction to the Status of Syrian Refugees as of Late 2014 (pp. 1-8)

    This report describes the stability of Jordan as of late 2014 and provides insight into the status and effect of the Syrian refugees in Jordan. The report then presents forecasts of the effect these refugees might have on Jordanian stability. This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of Jordan and issues with Jordanian stability, a summary of the Syrian refugee situation as of late 2014, and a description of the research methodology and report structure.

    Between 2011 and late 2014, fighting associated with the Syrian civil war forced nearly 3 million Syrian civilians to flee their homes.¹ Some of these...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Assessment of Stability and Strategic Challenges: Late 2014 (pp. 9-18)

    This chapter presents a general assessment of Jordan’s stability as of late 2014 and offers a summary forecast for 2015. It then describes several strategic challenges described by SMEs in literature and interviews. These general and specific assessments are intended to serve as a guide for the examination and forecasting of Syrian refugee impact. This chapter sets a baseline for the assessments and forecasts of economic, political, and security impacts in the following chapters.

    Jordan remained stable throughout the Arab Spring period that began in 2011 and ebbed at the end of 2012. As of late 2014, Jordan was socially,...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Economic Factors and Forecasted Impact (pp. 19-24)

    This chapter describes the degree to which Syrians benefit from and affect Jordan’s economy, describes other economic issues associated with Syrian refugees, and presents a forecast of Syrian refugee impacts on Jordan’s economy and such economic stability factors as unemployment and consumer prices. Most Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside official camps and are at least partly integrated into local economies in primarily north and central Jordan. Many refugees are at least partly dependent on aid. It is not possible to determine how many of these refugees will ultimately attempt to settle in Jordan on a permanent basis, but their...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Social Factors and Forecasted Impact (pp. 25-28)

    This chapter describes the degree to which off-camp Syrian refugees have been integrated into Jordanian communities, social issues associated with the refugee camps, and other evolving social issues. It also forecasts the impact of Syrian refugees on Jordan’s social and political stability. Even though this report is divided into functional categories—economic, social, and security—in practice, there are no clear divisions: Economic hardships and perceptions strongly affect social dynamics, and, in turn, both positive and negative social interactions appear to affect Jordanians’ willingness to accept Syrians into the informal and formal economy. All of these issues affect and are...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Security Assessment and Forecasted Impact (pp. 29-32)

    This chapter briefly assesses the late-2014 impact of Syrian refugees on Jordan’s internal security and then assesses impacts through 2015. The security assessment and forecast are limited in scope because a sizable portion of the most relevant and timely security data is classified by either the GoJ or the U.S. government. This assessment should be used to contribute to, or to help outline, classified assessments. However, the importance of classified security information for the assessing and forecasting of Jordan’s stability should not be overstated. Long-term open-source analyses cannot pinpoint specific threats or reveal the most-immediate intentions of threat groups, but...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Conclusion, Summary Forecast, and Black Swan Warnings (pp. 33-36)

    Jordan was stable in late 2014. Despite the near-complete chaos in southern Syria and western Iraq, the Jordanian military has ably secured the borders from any sizable encroachment. The economy is vulnerable to major crises, but key allies have stepped in to help ensure that the GoJ can continue to fund itself and facilitate mostly adequate service delivery. Social pressures that built up during the past decade seem to have temporarily ebbed along with the Hirak movement, and so far the relationship between Jordanians and Syrian refugees has not led to widespread social unrest or bloodshed. Markers of ongoing concern,...

  12. Abbreviations (pp. 37-38)
  13. Bibliography (pp. 39-60)