By Ala Alrababah and Ghazi Jarrar
In the past months, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has adopted an abnormally friendly approach towards Jordan. In a move that surprised many, Jordan was invited into the GCC in May of last year. Further, the gulf countries promised the kingdom 1.9 billion euros of aid over the next five years. Some interpreted the move as an attempt by the GCC to shelter the Jordanian monarchy from the region-wide uprisings. But why is it in the GCC’s interest that the Jordanian regime stays intact?
Firstly, Jordan’s domestic politics are of particular concern to the Gulf countries. Unlike Egypt or Yemen, Jordan is a monarchy. Real reform in Jordan would send signals to other Arab monarchies (all of which are in the GCC, except for Morocco and Jordan). Most of those monarchies have remained intact thus far. The GCC has reasons to fear that meaningful reform in Jordan will make a regional model out of it. Jordanian reform may lead to a domino effect phenomenon within the GCC, where desperate Bahraini or Saudi activists could push their rigid regimes towards democracy and liberalization.