The Sociology of Extremism and Terrorism in Jordan

Prof. Dr. Musa Shteiwi, Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan

Since the mid-1990s, Jordan has confronted the growth of radical organizations and expansion of extremist ideologies in order to protect the state from acts of terrorism, shielding Jordan’s youth from attempts to radicalize them, and preventing the proliferation of terrorism domestically and regionally. The Salafist jihad stream, which gained significant support in Jordan following the 2011 Arab Spring, has attracted a number of Jordanian youth to join extremist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq. Most notably the so-called "Daesh” which emerged in Iraq and Syria in 2014 and has carried out deadly attacks killing Jordanian security forces and civilians. Though the Islamic State is largely defeated, the stream of extremist ideologies and radical groups continues to provide a significant national security threat. This study sheds light on the socio-economic profile of radicalized Jordanians who have adopted radical ideologies, conspired and carried out acts of terror, or joined terrorist groups abroad. It seeks to identify a clearer picture of the push and pull factors of radicalization and to better understand the pathways that youth have taken toward extremism and ultimately participation in terrorism. Because of the long-term threat that extremism poses to Jordan, this study provides a timely, comprehensive approach to understand the drivers of radicalization through the experiences of radicalized youth.

This a joint study by Dr Mohammad Abu Rumman and Prof Musa Shteiwi



About the speaker

Prof. Dr. Shteiwi obtained his Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati. He is currently the Director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. He has over 20 years of experience as a professor at the University of Jordan, having taught in sociology, the Human Rights, Development and Gender Studies programs. Furthermore, his curriculum includes experience as advisor and consultant for government bodies, the World Bank, UN and other international organizations and research institutions. His participation as team leader also played a key role on many national and regional projects, including the Human Development Report for Jordan and the Social Violence Report in Jordan, and the Jordan Scenarios2030.

His expertise lies in conceptualizing and carrying out empirical research projects, Policy and strategic analysis. He has published more than 50 papers and books in the fields of development, social policies, poverty, unemployment, gender, social classes, civil society and political parties, Syrian refugees, and youth. Moreover, he received the Jordanian State Encouragement Award for his research in the field of Women’s Studies.



Venue: Conference room (0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 17 May 2018

Time: 12:00 - 13:00


UNU-MERIT