By Allison Fedirka
For years, Jordan has been a fairly stable country in an unstable region. But this weekend in Jordan was uncharacteristically tense, as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest government austerity measures. Within days of the outbreak of the protests, Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki resigned and King Abdullah II ordered Education Minister Omar al-Razzaz to form a new government. How much does it really matter that a small country like Jordan is experiencing the sort of social unrest that is normal in its chaotic region? Potentially quite a bit.
Jordan has seen far worse macroeconomic conditions before, but the latest protests stem from economic problems that reach far deeper, to the lives and livelihoods of average Jordanians. Jordan is a small country with limited natural resources. It can do little to control the price of imported goods and depends heavily on external financing for economic development and stability. As it has done in the p