Apr 7, 2021 • 1HR 12M

L'Affaire Jordan, with Annelle Sheline

Did King Abdullah really just survive a coup attempt?

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Derek Davison
Foreign Exchanges is a newsletter and podcast that helps you stay on top of important stories happening around the world. Derek Davison interviews scholars, journalists, and other experts to make sense of international affairs and US foreign policy.
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Today we’re very lucky to be joined by Annelle Sheline, Research Fellow for the Middle East at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and a non-resident fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Annelle’s research focuses on religious authority in the Middle East, particularly the intersection of religious and national identities in the Arab monarchies, and she’s done fieldwork in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Jordanian King Abdullah II addressing the European Parliament in January 2020, which explains the lack of masks and the general failure to socially distance (European Parliament via Wikimedia Commons)

One of the countries in that list has been particularly newsworthy of late, and somewhat surprisingly it’s Jordan. Annelle is here to provide some context for the alleged coup attempt that Jordanian authorities claimed to have thwarted over the weekend, including an examination of the key question: has former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein really been plotting with unnamed foreign governments to overthrow his half-brother, King Abdullah II (shown above)? Suffice to say we’re both a bit skeptical. Annelle’s Responsible Statecraft piece on the coup and its potential to serve as a justification for a broad political crackdown is available here and you can find her on Twitter here.