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Book part
Publication date: 11 July 2007

Angela Joya

This paper examines the transformation of Syrian political economy from 1970 until 2005. I argue that Syria has undergone two important phases of political and economic…

Abstract

This paper examines the transformation of Syrian political economy from 1970 until 2005. I argue that Syria has undergone two important phases of political and economic transformation, from building a centralized state and economy in the early 1970s to embarking on the path of market economy in the early 1990s. With the logic of competitiveness guiding the direction of economic development, the socio-economic changes of the mid-1980s and after have corresponded with an important process of class and state formation. After a brief discussion of the current transition in Syria, the following sections of the paper attempt to provide a critical study of the different strategies for economic development. Section two examines the process of state and economic centralization of the 1970s and 1980s and highlights the contradictions of this period. Section three assesses the impact of economic liberalization through a study of competitiveness in the economic policies of the 1990s and 2000. The final section examines the economic and political impasse that Syria has been faced with. In conclusion, I argue that the current path of market economy as the strategy for capital accumulation has not resolved the socio-economic problems that Syria has faced in the last two decades. This strategy will continue to face contestation by marginalized groups such as factions of the Baath Party, landless peasants, workers and small producers as Syria becomes even more integrated into the regional and global economy.

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Transitions in Latin America and in Poland and Syria
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-469-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2019

Nura Ibold

The wave of popular unrest in the Arab world reached Syria in March 2011, and what started as peaceful demonstrations with simple demands of justice and freedom turned…

Abstract

The wave of popular unrest in the Arab world reached Syria in March 2011, and what started as peaceful demonstrations with simple demands of justice and freedom turned into a brutal armed conflict and a full-scale civil war. Over seven years of conflict resulted in the deaths of over half a million Syrians, the forced displacement of millions more, and a huge loss of the country's social and physical structures. What began as another Arab Spring movement against a dictatorial regime has turned into a proxy war that has attracted the interests of the world and regional powers. The paper discusses Syria's political history and investigates the motives for the Syrian uprising and argues that it is related to socio-economic deprivations rather than sectarianism. The work underlines the interests of the countries involved in the Syrian conflict focusing on Russia, USA, Iran, and Turkey, as well as their contribution to the future reconstruction of the country.

Over the past few years, the Syrian regime and its allies targeted many cities and destroyed opposition-held neighborhoods. The work considers if this destruction was part of an overall strategy adopted by the al-Assad regime to terrorize those who opposed it and change Syria demographically, examining the new laws issued by the government to transfer public properties into the hands of its loyal businessmen factions, as in the case of the reconstruction project in the city of Homs.

Seven years of war exhausted Syria's financial stocks, and the country (and in turn the regime) is suffering the consequences of military spending. But like any other war, destruction is also a great opportunity to generate money through reconstruction and growth. It is a “win-win situation”; the regime will use the fund designated for reviving the country to its own benefit, gaining future profits. Already invested in the conflict, involved countries will be part of the reconstruction process to secure their presence and control in Syria.

United Nations agencies like UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) are working closely with the Syrian regime and its governmental representatives. This research examines their involvement and how their ‘humanitarian mission' is being exploited to prop up the al-Assad regime.

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Open House International, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Shireen Gaber

There is no doubt that the political speech of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is of exceptional importance in understanding the developments of the war in Syria, and…

Abstract

Purpose

There is no doubt that the political speech of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is of exceptional importance in understanding the developments of the war in Syria, and clarifies the position of all parties involved in the war, whether local, regional or international. Accordingly, and based on the dismantling of political discourse, the identification of its core, as well as its variables and major themes of this discourse, this study aims to understand the levels of complexity, paths and the fate of the war in Syria that certainly does not come free of charge, the hardest of which is the human cost whether for the victims or the displaced persons.

Design/methodology/approach

After a careful study of all the resilient factors in the literature review to categorize the primary data based on Assad’s discourses in the media, through a “qualitative research study” of his “interviews and discourses,” it is found that the Assad’s rhetoric is highly relevant to his tenacious presidency. The research reveals the themes that dominated Assad’s interview responses and speeches and his strategy of framing the revolution as a foreign insurgency against his government. In fact, Assad delegitimizes any semblance of the uprisings as a “pro-democracy movement” or “revolution,” denying the presence of a rebellion against his government.

Findings

By the analysis the study found out that Bashar Al-Assad continued to focus on certain reasons and issues that led to the crisis and the continuation of the war, such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement, considering the Syrian opposition abroad as agents of Western countries, Syria is subject to a regional and international conspiracy, terrorism is a major scourge that must be fought and that the army is essential in resolving the battles taking place there. Likewise, emphasizing the internal dialogue with all stakeholders and involved parties is the way to solve the crisis.The Syrian President’s speeches do not focus much on the accusations against his regime from the opposition or the international parties involved in the conflict.

Originality/value

Assad’s resiliency has made him a distinct leader in the region. This paper analyzes the factors contributing to Assad’s resiliency. The literature review consists of the existing theories on authoritarian persistence and Assad’s power base in particular. The literature review discusses the factors that helped Assad adopts his resiliency strategies to the conflict environment. The research focuses on how Assad used the media as a platform for displaying his own manipulative narrative of the conflict. It concludes that Assad’s use of the media as his propaganda tool legitimized his rule, making it highly relevant to his persistence.

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Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN:

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 6 November 2019

Prospects for Syria in 2020

Prospects for Syria in 2020.

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Prospects for Syria to end-2019

Prospects for Syria to end-2019

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 5 April 2018

President Bashar al-Assad does not control most of the local and foreign militias that operate in his name in Syria. Some of those follow the policies of Iran’s Islamic…

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DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB231885

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Expert briefing
Publication date: 17 September 2015

US officials estimate that Russia has dispatched tanks and artillery to Syria in recent weeks in a reported military build-up, raising concerns that Moscow is embarking…

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DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB205384

ISSN: 2633-304X

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Geographic
Topical
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Expert briefing
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Prospects for Syria in 2019

Prospects for Syria in 2019.

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 14 December 2018

The role of Syrian intelligence agencies.

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Emer Groarke

This paper aims to show the viability of consociational power-sharing as a conflict-resolution tool in Syria. It further argues that a subsequent movement from…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to show the viability of consociational power-sharing as a conflict-resolution tool in Syria. It further argues that a subsequent movement from consociational to centripetal power-sharing is vital to ensure sustainable peace.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical overview of power-sharing as a conflict-resolution tool provides the basis for this paper, supported by empirical evidence and qualitative research analysis for its proposed application in Syria. Perceived obstacles to a negotiated settlement are outlined, with suggestions made as to how these issues can be transformed into incentives for invested parties. Such obstacles include Bashar al-Assad remaining in power, and calls for the implementation of Shari’a law by some opposition groups.

Findings

While previously the conditions of the conflict were not conducive to peace talks, this paper finds that regional developments, including the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have re-opened the possibility of, and indeed the necessity for, political negotiations. Detailing the complexity of a conflict that goes far beyond a mere sectarian divide, the findings of this paper dispel the notion that a sectarian partition is a viable model for Syria. The paper highlights the multiple cleavages occurring simultaneously, and shows how a power-sharing model is best suited to deal with them.

Originality/value

The paper analyses the ongoing inertia of political negotiations to peacefully resolve the conflict. It offers an approach to conflict-resolution in Syria that has, thus far, not been adequately considered in academic – or political – spheres.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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