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The first lady phenomenon in Jordan : assessing the effect of Queen Rania's NGOs on Jordanian civil society

Document type: report
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Abstract: This paper assesses the so-called ‘first lady phenomenon’ in (semi) authoritarian context. The main question to be answered is to what extent organizations in which Queen Rania is involved affect the development of a truly independent organizational life in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Three regime strategies with respect to civil society control come to the fore, of which the third, ‘civil society infiltration’, is especially relevant to the case. First Lady Organizations (FLANGOs), can be perceived as a type of Governmental Non-Governmental Organization (GONGO); a relatively new concept in the field. An in-dept study on the relatively new notion of the GONGO is given, whereby new concepts (in relation to China) are hinting at an application in other (semi) authoritarian contexts. The verdict on the effect of Queen Rania’s NGOs on Jordan’s civil society strongly depends on which role one assigns to a civil society, but negative remarks were more common, pointing at the lack of internal democracy in FLANGOs, the issue of funding, and the fundamental point that Hashemite humanitarianism must be judged differently in a country like Jordan, where the royal family is indeed the regime; more powerful than the government.
Authors: Boerwinkel, F.
Series Title: Knowledge Programme Civil Society in West Asia Working Paper
Country: Jordan
Category: Research
Serial number: 19
ISSN: 2210-3473
Keywords: civil society , non-governmental organizations
Language: eng
Organization: Hivos – Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation
Organization: University of Amsterdam
PAGE: 31
Place: The Hague [etc.]
Publisher: Hivos [etc.]
Year: 2011
Region: Western Asia
Right: © 2011 Hivos & University of Amsterdam
Subject: Social and Political Change
Title: The first lady phenomenon in Jordan : assessing the effect of Queen Rania's NGOs on Jordanian civil society