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Power and Policy in Syria - Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East

Power and Policy in Syria - Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East

von: Radwan Ziadeh

I.B.Tauris, 2010

ISBN: 9780857719157

Format: PDF

Kopierschutz: DRM

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Power and Policy in Syria - Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East


 

As Bashar al-Asad rescinds emergency rule in the face of demonstrations and protests, Syria finds itself in a key position in a Middle East beset by regional tensions, the repercussions of the global 'war on terror' and popular uprisings. The bloodless coup by General Hafez al-Assad, in 1970, put in place a powerful autocratic machinery at the core of the state which continues till today under the control of his son Bashar. Here Radwan Ziadeh presents a fresh and penetrating analysis of Syria's political structure, from independence in 1946 to the present. _x000D__x000D_During his thirty-year rule the 'Lion of Damascus' rewrote the constitution, restructured constitutional, legislative and legal institutions to severely limit their functioning, and instituted tight control over civil society, including trade unions, associations, professional syndicates and non-governmental organizations. Ziadeh argues that the political system enshrined in the era of Hafez al-Assad is still pertinent for the mechanisms behind the decision-making of his son - a 'despotic' state monopoly over all fields, a bureaucratic climate marked by fear, the concentration of political power in the hands of a military elite, the emergence of a new political elite from rural areas and consequent changes in the character of national politics, and the creation of powerful social, economic, and military networks at the margins of state institutions, based on notions of loyalty and personal relationships. He describes, in unprecedented detail, the administrative structure through which centralized control is exercised in Syria, particularly the intelligence services which have gained significant power in legal and policy decisions. He also closely examines the transition to rule by the General's son, Bashar al-Assad and the conditions and challenges for Syrian foreign policy today, particularly vis-vis the US. _x000D__x000D_With a focus on Syria's intelligence services which have significant influence in legal and policy decisions, and the conditions and patterns of foreign policy decision-making, particularly vis-vis the US, 'Power and Policy in Syria' is indispensable for all those interested in Syria, the modern Middle East, International Relations and Security Studies._x000D_