Third World Planning Review

Dilemmas of top—down decentralisation in Jordan

The case of the Petra Regional Planning Council

Third World Planning Review (2001), 23, (3), 273–288.

Abstract

This paper examines the variety of ways in which decentralisation has been used as a centrally-administered panacea for various ills in developing countries. In particular, the paper examines the case of Jordan, and provides a brief overview of previous decentralisation efforts as well as a more in-depth case study of decentralisation in the Petra region, the site of the ancient Nabatean city of Petra. The paper documents the weaknesses of previous planning efforts and considers whether the current efforts to decentralise will result in the protection of the fragile and historically valuable area as well as the stimulation of the local economy. The authors conclude that the current system of decentralised planning does not have the trust of local residents and is unlikely to gain the wider local support needed to ensure the long-run sustainability of the newly completed masterplan for the region.

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UNESCO (1994), Petra National Park: Management Plan, Main Report, Amman, UNESCO. Google Scholar

WORLD BANK (1994), Peace and the Jordanian Economy, Washington, DC, World Bank. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

CROOK, R. C. and MANOR, J. (1995), ‘Democratic decentralisation and institutional performance: four Asian and African experiences combined’, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 33, 309-34. ‘Democratic decentralisation and institutional performance: four Asian and African experiences combined’ Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 33 309 34 Google Scholar

DOAN, P. (1991), ‘Changing administrative boundaries in Jordan: regional development strategy or distraction’, Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 82, 3. ‘Changing administrative boundaries in Jordan: regional development strategy or distraction’ Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 82 3 Google Scholar

DOAN, P. (1995), ‘Urban primacy and spatial development policy in African development plans’, Third World Planning Review, 17, 313-35. ‘Urban primacy and spatial development policy in African development plans’ Third World Planning Review 17 313 35 Google Scholar

FRIEDMANN, J. and WEAVER, C. (1979), Territory and Function: The Evolution of Regional Planning, Berkeley, University of California Press. Territory and Function: The Evolution of Regional Planning Google Scholar

JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) (1996), A Study of the Tourism Development Plan in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Amman, JICA. Google Scholar

JORDANIAN MINISTRY OF PLANNING (1993), Economic and Social Development Plan: 1993-1997, Amman, Jordanian Ministry of Planning. Google Scholar

JORDAN PRESS FOUNDATION (various dates), The Jordan Times, various issues. Google Scholar

KALIN, W., CARLSON, E. and LANNERBETH, M. (1994), The Future of Decentralisation in Jordan, Amman, UNDP Study Mission to Jordan. The Future of Decentralisation in Jordan Google Scholar

KHOURI, R. (1981), The Jordan Valley: Life and Society Below Sea Level, London, Longman/Jordan Valley Authority. The Jordan Valley: Life and Society Below Sea Level Google Scholar

LEONARD, D. K. (1982), ‘Choosing among forms of decentralisation and linkage’ in D. Leonard and D. Marshall (eds), Institutions of Rural Development for the Poor: Decentralisation and Organisational Linkages, Berkeley, University of California, Institute of International Studies, 193-226. Institutions of Rural Development for the Poor: Decentralisation and Organisational Linkages 193 226 Google Scholar

POHL, H. and HUNTAU, H. (1990), Prospects of Development Planning in Jordan: Evaluation of 12 Years of Experience—Recommendations for Effective Regional Decentralisation, Amman, GTZ. Prospects of Development Planning in Jordan: Evaluation of 12 Years of Experience—Recommendations for Effective Regional Decentralisation Google Scholar

ROE, E. (1995), ‘More than the politics of decentralisation: local government reforms, district development and public administration in Zimbabwe’, World Development, 23, 833-43. ‘More than the politics of decentralisation: local government reforms, district development and public administration in Zimbabwe’ World Development 23 833 43 Google Scholar

RONDINELLI, D. (1981), ‘Government decentralisation in comparative perspective: theory and practice in developing countries’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 47, 133-45. ‘Government decentralisation in comparative perspective: theory and practice in developing countries’ International Review of Administrative Sciences 47 133 45 Google Scholar

RONDINELLI, D., NELLIS, J. and CHEEMA, S. (1984), Decentralisation in Developing Countries: A Review of Recent Experience (Working Paper No. 581), Washington, DC, World Bank Staff. Decentralisation in Developing Countries: A Review of Recent Experience Google Scholar

SLATER, D. (1989), ‘Territorial power and the peripheral state: the issue of decentralisation’, Development and Change, 20, 501-31. ‘Territorial power and the peripheral state: the issue of decentralisation’ Development and Change 20 501 31 Google Scholar

UNESCO (1994), Petra National Park: Management Plan, Main Report, Amman, UNESCO. Google Scholar

WORLD BANK (1994), Peace and the Jordanian Economy, Washington, DC, World Bank. Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Doan, Petra

Adas, Widad