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Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East (Library of Modern Middle East Studies) Hardcover – January 15, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1848854345 ISBN-10: 184885434X

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Product Details

  • Series: Library of Modern Middle East Studies (Book 98)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (January 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184885434X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848854345
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,271,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

""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-Assad’s rule."" -- Volker Perthes, Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and author of The Political Economy of Syria under Assad

About the Author

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 also the recipient of the MESA Academic Freedom Award (2009), and a former Vivian G. Prins Fellow at the NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hussain Abdul-Hussain on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Power and Policy in Syria," Radwan Ziadeh captures the essence of Syria's domestic, political and socio-economic scene better than any other book on the subject. In five chapters, this brief manuscript takes readers on a quick tour that covers a bit of history, some domestic politics, Syria's foreign policy and a concluding chapter on the nation's Islamist movement.

Radwan Ziadeh argues in his new book that Syria's current state of affairs can be traced back to what he calls the Third Republic, which started with the Baâ(tm)ath Party coup of 1963. According to Ziadeh, the First Republic extended between the country's independence from the French in 1946 and the union with Egypt in 1958. The Second Republic lasted until the union broke down in 1963, when a radical wing of the Baâ(tm)ath Party under Salah Jdid took over. In 1970, the party's military wing under Hafez Al-Assad executed the last of a series of coups that riddle Syria's history. Assad took control of the country.

Ziadeh believes that Assad was hesitant at first. While effectively the ruler of Syria, he planned to stay prime minister and appoint a puppet president. Because the constitution stipulated that the country's president should be Muslim, and because Assad was Alawite, he first passed on the idea of becoming president but later changed his mind when his protege, Iranian-born Lebanese Shiâ(tm)ite cleric Mussa Sadr, issued a verdict resolving that Alawites were Muslims.

Once president, Assad consolidated his power by building a three-legged pyramid with him at its top and with prerogatives that made of him an undisputed autocrat. Assad realized his lack of constitutional legitimacy, so he turned to "revolutionary legitimacy.
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Format: Paperback
Ziadeh’s book is a hard but worthwhile read. He assumes a good understanding of English and an even better one of Syria and ploughs ahead to write about the conflicting internal and external dynamics of Syria since World War 2.
His book has a number of inconsistencies, no doubt due to his desire to get a receptive US audience and receptive US reviews. The weakest part of the book is near the start where he rabbits on about a rag tag army of dissidents and peaceful protesters looking for some ill-defined Athenian democracy before having their hopes, aspirations and peaceful protests smashed by Syria’s security forces.
Not only has that false narrative been totally discredited in Syria like it has in Libya and Ukraine but later in the book, he details the machinations of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB), the fanatical group of cut throats who kick started the chaos that is today’s Syria. The SMB are a bunch of embittered sectarian fanatics whose earlier revolt was ruthlessly crushed by the Syrian security forces. Undeterred, these terrorists skulked off into exile and into the hands of a number of foreign intelligence services who were prepared to work with them to break the so-called Shia axis, of which Syria is the lynchpin.
The author makes it plain that Syria’s long-standing crime is it did not fully and unequivocally accept America’s Middle Eastern plans, which involve a hegemonic Israel lording over the Palestinians and a mish match of smaller, emasculated Arab Bantustans split along confessional lines. It is Syria’s refusal to agree to that anti-democratic American plan that is at the heart of the turmoil Syria and her supporters face and the book makes it plain that opposing this plan has been at the heart of Syria’s foreign policy for forty or so years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Author dose a very good job of explaining in detail of the political and security power structure of the Assad regime in Syria. One part that I find interesting is the author analyst of the Relationship of President Bashar al Assad and the Security forces, in such as where the president has overview of Syria’s Foreign policy and the Security forces have complete judicial and executive power over domestic policy.
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By Ted Kulik on January 18, 2015
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Excellent
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Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East (Library of Modern Middle East Studies)
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