For nearly four decades, King Hussein of Jordan has managed to survive and consolidate his rule in the face of difficult internal and external circumstances. Indeed, Hussein’s will to survive has been and will remain the central organizing principle of his statecraft.
In this Policy Paper, Uriel Dann, highlights the essentials of Hussein’s survival strategy by examining his response to several situations that poignantly threatened his survival. Dann argues that Hussein’s politics are essentially passive: whosoever poses in his view the danger of the moment determines his reaction. Hussein’s guiding principle is survival. Other goals, such as economic development, expansion, or dynastic ambition are subordinate to this. This makes him a dubious partner for undertakings requiring political courage or innovation.