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Authoritarianism in Syria
Author: Steven Heydemann

ISBN: 9780801429323
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 17 July 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.52 x 15.93 x 2.18
Description:
For almost forty years Syria has been ruled by a populist authoritarian regime under the Ba'th Party, led since 1970 by President Hafiz al-Asad. The durability and resilience of this regime is a striking contrast to the instability and intense social conflict that preceded the Ba'th's seizure of power, when Syria was seen as among the least stable of Arab states. This dramatic transition raises questions about how the Ba'th succeeded in constructing the institutions needed to consolidate a radically populist and authoritarian system of rule. The Ba'th's accomplishment also poses a significant theoretical challenge to the widely held view that populist strategies of state building are inherently unstable.

Drawing on evidence from Syrian, American, and British archives as well as from published French and Arabic sources, Steven Heydemann explains the capacity of the Ba'th to overcome the obstacles that typically undermine the consolidation of radical populist regimes. He links the Ba'th's adoption of a radical populist strategy of state building, and its capacity to implement this strategy, to the dynamics of social conflict, state expansion, and structural c...

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