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Wasta in Jordan: A Distinct Feature of (and Benefit for) Middle Eastern Society

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Dispute resolution processes are culturally bound. They should reflect the parties' background and culture. This paper shows that wasta is one way of demonstrating the fundamental difference in perceptions and understandings between the East and West. Wasta means both the well-connected, personal intermediary-intervener and the process of intermediation-intervention. Wasta played a major part in the construction of the Kingdom of Jordan in the 1930s and 1940s, which explains its special status within contemporary Jordan. It is deeply rooted in Jordanian society and it informs transaction formation and dispute resolution in the country. Thus, any discussion about commercial arbitration in Jordan and the Middle East must be informed by wasta and its norms.

Affiliations: 1: LLB (Hons), LLM, PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science

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