Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Kimberly E Simmons


In my dissertation, 'Shifting Landscapes: the Social and Economic Development of Aqaba, Jordan', I examine the role of the global in (re)defining the local by considering the anticipated impact of the planned large-scale urban development within Aqaba. I contend that the identities of the citizens change as the city itself undergoes `renovation' through political adjustments, globalization, tourism development, and commercialization. I argue that these transformations provide opportunities of empowerment, albeit often limited, for marginalized populations who attempt to broaden the dominant local identity by taking advantage of new economic opportunities and increasing their agency within the city. This research provides a fine-grained ethnographic portrait of the lived social and economics realities that the residents of Aqaba experience within the transition to becoming a `developed' city. As such, it is also relevant beyond Jordan to communities worldwide undergoing similar urban tourism development.


© 2013, Kimberly K. Cavanagh

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