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Politics and Society Institute publishes “On the cusp of change” book.

The study analyzes the reality of parties and observes the precursors of the forthcoming scene

the new book published by the Politics and Society Institute (PSI) in cooperation with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) reveals that the majority of the current political parties face structural deficiencies that hinder the ability of internal regularization in accordance with the new law, the current partisan scene is leading to structural changes after the main modifications which occurred to the new election laws.

The book, which was authored by Muhammad Abu Rumman, Abdullah Al-Jabour, and Wael Al-Khatib, provides an analysis of several variables in the study of parties, including those related to the basic and leadership structure, the grassroots, youth and women’s activities, political participation, geographical proliferation, financial resources, and communication and media capacities, thus conclusion was that merely a few parties have high competence in mentioned fields, while most parties affected by what the authors describe as the “inverted pyramid” phenomenon, as the party is centralized in the leadership with severe deficiencies in the party cadre and the absence of the grassroots!

At the book signature ceremony that took place on Tuesday at the Movenpick Hotel in the presence of a group of politicians, the researchers presented several main results, including the lack of parties that circulates the leaders, the simplicity of the organizational structure of most parties, the weakness of the majority of political parties in political work, and the accumulation of most parties in the capital, Amman, The lack of participation of youth and women in party activity, in contrast to the announced official figures, the noticeable inability of the parties in building communication and media capacities, the limited geographical proliferation and the ineffectiveness of most of the party branches in playing political roles in the governorates.

Nevertheless, the book, which is based on field studies and more than 50 visits to parties, brainstorming sessions, and focus groups, indicates that the partisan scene will witness radical and major changes forthcoming period, within the phase of regularization that ends in the middle of next year, attributed to the changes the parties and election laws, thus most parties of the current version will vanish, by merging and joining large parties or the inability to regularization, consequently, several strong parties will emerge that compete in the political scene.

The authors identify several major challenges facing the forthcoming party formation process: The challenge of building the social and popular grassroots for political parties, second: The challenge of enhancing party discourse and being closer to citizens and grassroots, third: The challenge of internal cohesion and overcoming divisions and personal considerations, fourth: The challenge of funding, fifth: The internal party building challenge.

The study consists of an introduction, a historical narrative, and five chapters, each chapter consists of several sections: the historical narrative presents the milestones review and summary of Jordanian partisan life in a hundred years, reviewing the factors of the partisan phenomenon emergence and its transition to the Emirate of Transjordan, presents the phases of development of partisan life, local and regional challenges and their reflections on the environment and political action of the parties, how partisan work contributed to expedite the pace of independence and the establishment of the Jordanian state and the development of its political identity over the decades.

The first chapter of the study reviews the institutional structures of political parties; the institutional and party structures, the main forms, structures, and institutions of the Jordanian parties and the differences between them, and the extent they were able to enhance their structures and institutions, the issue of internal unity in the party and whether there is an alternation of leadership and responsibility or a monopoly of, finally financial resources of the Jordanian parties, where do they come from and how do these parties provide the expenses for them, what are the expenditure aspects, and to what extent is their transparency in the financial field.

The second chapter discusses the extent to which the parties respond to the proliferation within the governorates and their adoption of field plans that expedite the proliferation by measuring the extent of their participation in the local, parliamentary, and syndicates elections, especially the last ones. In addition, the presence of party headquarters and the affiliation of members representing various and diverse geographic and clan backgrounds are indications of the party’s proliferation and field effectiveness, thus it is not sufficient to have an office or a party branch in the governorate, without being active, effective and capable of involvement with people’s concerns, issues, daily services, and economic problems in different regions and fields.

The third chapter analyzes the age structure of political parties in Jordan and the political representation rates of youth and women in the partisan structure at the level of leadership and decision-making positions. The chapter provides us with indicators of the parties’ ability on the one hand to reach and interact with the various components of society, On the other hand, its ability to adapt and accompany the phase of political modernization and the decisions stemming therefrom and the obligated legislation of parties, provided that the proportion of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years should not be less than (20)% of the total number of members, and that the percentage of women should not be less than (20) % of the total number of members.

The study also sheds light on formal and qualitative affiliation within parties, meaning that there are parties that retain a large number of young people in their ranks, but this is not a measure or a reflection of the party’s strength and vitality in society and its ability to reach the voters’ community, however, there is the quantitative (formal) presence, by contrast, there is a (qualitative) presence that affects the younger generation and its political peers, which could be applied to the women faction in the parties, thus the real strength of the party is not about the race of increasing the numbers of affiliated members of the party, rather in the party reachability and ability of change within its political agendas and platforms.

The fourth chapter monitors the media and political communication status of parties and their capabilities in traditional mass media such as newspapers, satellite channels, and radio stations, and the corresponding social media and how to address and utilize modern means of communication in the parties’ programs and activities, particularly electoral ones, and the extent of the parties’ popularity on social media platforms, especially Facebook, therefor the chapter provides a numerical analysis of the effectiveness and capabilities of social media pages and an evaluation of their performance.

The fifth chapter discusses the current partisan scene by researching the following questions: What are the features of the current partisan scene? How will the new legislation and policies change the life of the party? What are the challenges facing political parties in the transition process? Finally, what are the requirements, conditions, and levers of transformation toward programmatic partisan governments within the forthcoming period?

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