Arvid Lundberg, Doctoral student, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Nation, Citizenship, and "Openmindedness": Divisions within the Arab Spring of Jordan

In this seminar, I will present the fieldwork I conducted in Jordan during 2011 and the beginning of 2012. I will show that "democracy" is a term too vague to describe the goals of the Jordanian demonstrations inspired by the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt; the protest movements are better understood through their relation to three distinction issues: al-watan (the nation), siase (politics), and infitah (openmindedness). These three concepts will help us understand the divisions within the protest movement that are apparent in political meetings, conferences, demonstrations, and attempts to form a leftist political party.

I have conducted fieldwork among political activists in Jordan's capital Amman and in a small village outside Madaba. The latter is an example of the area, outside the large cities, that in Jordan is called al-mohafazat and is politically important due to the role of its tribes in the Jordanian state. In the seminar, I will also briefly mention my other fieldwork sites: international private schools in Amman and monfateh (openminded) urban space.

All seminars in the series.