The Middle East and North Africa‘s constitutional monarchies are surviving the upheaval of the Arab Spring. Morocco and Jordan, two key US allies in the region, are popularly billed as constitutional monarchies. The two kingdoms are generally regarded as “islands of stability” in an imploding region that offer consistent support for US objectives in the Arabworld, particularly in the realm of regional security.
Although these two kingdoms are separated by over 2,500 miles on opposite ends of the greater Middle East, they are frequently billed as being the same type of regime following a similar strategy of coopting challenges to their ruling system. States like Morocco and Jordan are key because, until now, they have managed to retain a qualitative advantage in the institutional capacity of their respective states, crystallizing the regime’s rule while preserving a sense of legitimacy. It is this model of the state, where the ruling regime is buttressed by legitimacy created from strong state institutions, that will lead to long-term stability in the Middle East.