Tomatoes, tribes, bananas, and businessmen: An analysis of the shadow state and of the politics of water in Jordan

Hussam Hussein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


This article shed light on the shadow state, investigating who belongs to it, their interests, and their relation to the water sector. This is important because Jordan is known to be among the most water scarce countries in the world and some water professionals see in the shadow state an obstacle to implementing successful water policies, resulting to be one of the main reasons behind inefficiencies in the water sector in the country. Furthermore, an in-depth investigation of the relation between the shadow state and the water sector is needed. This article makes a contribution by analysing the current challenges posed by the shadow state to efficient operations of the water institutions as well as wider government, and the difficulties they encounter in responding with reforms in Jordan. This analysis will serve policy makers and water professionals to better understand how to navigate the complex Jordanian water sector. This is particularly important nowadays in order to ensure socio-economic and political stability of Jordan in the aftermath of the so-called “Arab Spring”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Early online date26 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Shadow state
  • Water politics
  • Hydropolitics
  • Jordan
  • Tribes
  • Water scarcity

Cite this