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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
Radwan Ziadeh

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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 - a 'despotic' state monopoly, a bureaucratic climate marked by fear, and the administrative structure through which centralized control is exercised. 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-a-vis the US, "Power and Policy in Syria" is essential reading for all those interested in Syria, the modern Middle East, International Relations and Security Studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Birth of the Third Republic and Establishing Syrian Authoritarianism
Chapter 2: Inheriting Syria from Father to Son: Hafez al-Asad’s Last Days
Chapter 3: Damascus Spring: The Rise of the Opposition in Syria
Chapter 4: Bashar al-Asad and Foreign Policy 
Chapter 5: Political Islam Challenge: Muslim Brothers and Democracy

Author Info

Radwan Ziadeh is a Visiting Scholar at the Carr Center for Human Rights of Harvard University and Visiting Fellow at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London. He is the founding director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington D.C., and has been a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. He is the recipient of the MESA Academic Freedom Award (2009).


'The broad, multi-faceted approach to the Syrian issue makes this work a masterpiece, unique and essential for all those interested in the future of the country and its role in the modern Middle East.'
The International Spectator

'A masterly study of Syrian politics in the Asad era, written with insight and feeling. Difficult to imagine it will ever be bettered.'
Roger Owen, Harvard University

Dr Radwan Ziadeh provides us with a thorough analysis of Syrian internal power dynamics. His study contains valuable observations of an insider on the Syrian democracy movement and gives an extensive analysis of Syrian foreign policy.
Nikolaos van Dam, author of The Struggle for Power in Syria: Sectarianism, Regionalism and Tribalism in Politics (1961–80), ambassador of The Netherlands to Indonesia and former ambassador to Egypt and Syria

Radwan Ziadeh brings unique qualifications to this superb study of contemporary Syrian politics. As a scholar-activist, he captures the internal workings of Syria’s reform movements with nuance, detail and insight that are unmatched, bringing to life political currents and trends in Syria that are often opaque to outsiders. This is an important work. It deserves to be widely read.
Steven Heydemann, Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace, and author of Authoritarianism in Syria

This is both an insider’s account of the political awakening in Syria at the beginning of this century, and a sober, intelligent analysis of political structures and developments under Bashar al-Asad’s rule.
Volker Perthes, Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and author of The Political Economy of Syria under Asad

Dr Ziadeh analyses the major issues and developments under the rule of Bashar al-Asad, including the challenges of political and economic reforms, Islamic movements, civil society, as well as Syria’s foreign policy towards the peace process. 'Power and Policy in Syria' will be a valuable contribution to understanding the politics of neo-liberal regime of Bashar al-Asad. It will be of interest to Middle East scholars, students of the politics of developing nations, as well as the growing number of readers trying to make sense of the freedom deficit in this crucial region.
Najib Ghadbian, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas, and author of Democratization and the Islamist Challenge in the Arab World

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Tauris Academic Studies
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of Modern Middle East Studies

ISBN: 9781780762906
Publication Date: 30 Nov 2012
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 135

ISBN: 9781848854345
Publication Date: 07 Dec 2010
Number of Pages: 240
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 5 bw line drawings, 5 bw integrated illustrations

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