The Struggle for Power in Syria

The Struggle for Power in Syria : Politics and Society Under Asad and the Ba'th Party

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Description

This is a fully revised and updated paperback edition of this study of power in Syrian politics. The book explains the factors which have enabled the regime of Hafiz al-Asad to stay in power much longer than any other since independence; it also shows how al-Asad's disappearance may seriously disrupt Syria's present stability. Providing an in-depth analysis of the role of sectarian, regional and tribal loyalties in contemporary Syrian history, the author focuses attention on developments within the military and civilian power elite and the Ba'th Party organization. He shows that the 1963 Ba'thist takeover constituted a decisive turning-point. With the help of the army and the Ba'th, members of Islamic minority communities, especially Alawis, Druzes and Ismailis, and people from the poor countryside, were brought to the fore, and went through a process of rapid national emancipation. In 1970 this culminated in the monopolization of power by al-Asad, whose Alawi-dominated officers' faction has ruled Syria ever since. The text considers the political history of Syria in the 1980s and 1990s and speculates on its future.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 19.3mm | 340.19g
  • I.B. TAURIS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • 1 map
  • 1860640249
  • 9781860640247

Back cover copy

Published for the first time in a fully revised and updated paperback edition, Nikolaos van Dam's book is a classic study of politics and society in modern Syria. Explaining the factors that have enabled the regime of Hafiz al-Asad to stay in power much longer than any other since independence, the book shows how Asad's disappearance may seriously disrupt Syria's uneasy stability. Through an in-depth examination of the role of sectarian, regional and tribal loyalties, van Dam traces developments within the Ba'th Party and the military and civilian power elite from the 1963 Ba'thist takeover up to the present day. He shows how the period of profound social change that followed 1963 saw the rise of the Islamic minority communities in national politics and the transformation of the lives of people from the countryside. Particular attention is given to issues such as the implications for Syria's future of the monopolization of power by Asad and his Alawi-dominated officers' faction; Sunni opposition to the regime; and the evolution of Syrian politics through the 1980s and 90s. This book will be of great interest to students of politics and society in the Middle East and the Third World.
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Table of contents

The rise of minorities in the Syrian armed forces and in the Ba'th Party; sectarian polarization in the Syrian armed forces between Sunnis and religious minorities; the purge of Druze officers in the Syrian armed forces; the struggle for power within the Alawi community; sectarian and regional factionalism in the Syrian political elite - a statistical analysis; sectarian showdown - eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood; the power elite under Hafiz al-Asad.
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Rating details

179 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 20% (36)
4 48% (86)
3 21% (38)
2 7% (13)
1 3% (6)
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