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The Political Economy of Syria Under Asad

The Political Economy of Syria Under Asad
Volker Perthes

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Syria under Asad has been one of the key regional powers of the Middle East. Though its political development has been a much-debated subject, there has been no comprehensive study in English of the country's political economy and its evolution since 1970 to the present day. Beginning with an account of economic development and of changing development strategies, Perthes discusses the factors which in the late 1980s precipitated a change in direction from the socialist orientation of the earlier Ba'thist years to "infitah" and a larger role for the private sector. He pays particular attention to class structure and class-state relations and examines the nature of the state, the political structure and the mechanisms and dynamics of political decision-making. Addressing the issue of the interplay between economic transformation and political change, Perthes argues that, although a shift in the power structure will not occur under Asad, his regime has created the institutions which will allow a reasonably smooth succession and a creation of a less personalized and more participatory political order.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1 Introduction: historical developments and literature on contemporary Syria;
  • research interests and basic assumptions;
  • sources and data;
  • plan of study. Part 2 The emergence and transformation of a statist economy: macro-economic variables and imbalances;
  • development approaches and public-sector economy;
  • state and private economy - patterns and phases of liberalization;
  • conclusion - prospects and limits of economic change. Part 3 Social structure and class relations: rural relations;
  • urban society;
  • conclusion - social structures and political alliances. Part 4 The structure of authoritarianism: institution-building and political development - an overview;
  • the institutional framework;
  • representation and control - front parties, the legislative and popular organizations;
  • conclusion - patrimonialism, authoritarianism rule and the strong state. Part 5 Economic policies and political decision-making: the absence of external interference;
  • the institutional and procedural framework;
  • the style of economic-policy formation;
  • conclusion - economic reform and patterns of incorporation. Part 6 Conclusion - authoritarian adjustment and the prospects of political development: adjustment and control;
  • economic liberalization and political change;
  • domestic control and regional role;
  • Asad - and after?.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.

ISBN: 9781860641923
Publication Date: 15 Nov 1997
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: tables, 1 figure, bibliography, index

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