By Radwan Ziadeh

In an volatile heart East, beset by means of nearby tensions and repercussions of the worldwide battle on terror, Syria is a key participant. The cold coup by means of normal Hafez al-Assad, in 1970, installed position a strong autocratic equipment on the center of the country which maintains until this day below the keep watch over of his son Bashar. the following Radwan Ziadeh offers a clean and penetrating research of Syria’s political constitution -- a "despotic" nation monopoly, a bureaucratic weather marked by means of worry, and the executive constitution in which centralized keep an eye on is exercised. With a spotlight on Syria’s intelligence providers that have major impact in felony and coverage judgements, and the stipulations and styles of international coverage decision-making, relatively vis-?-vis the united states, strength and coverage in Syria is key studying for all these attracted to Syria, the trendy center East, diplomacy and safety stories.

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Extra resources for 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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The economic recession that had been undermining Syrian markets since 1996 had reached a point of total stagnation. There was widespread disaffection over the failure to implement laws to promote economic liberalization, modernize banking and finance, upgrade the education system and regulate the property market (a rent law had been on the statute books for 50 years). There was also widespread popular dissatisfaction over the poor provision of such amenities as water, electricity, roads and transport, and the deteriorating living standards of citizens, especially public employees.

The National Security Bureau supervises these different organs, which are subordinated to the regional leadership (al-Qiyādah al-Quṭrī) of the Baʿth Party. 52 Because of intense competition among these different bodies, the role of some security branches expanded hugely even at the expense of the administration to which they were subordinated. This contributed to the influence and power of the branch head, which were often inflated because of the direct relationship of this post to the president.

In the area of social development, al-Asad worked towards establishing new civil associations to regulate the more active and politically significant trade unions. 81 Already existing organizations were also transformed to serve the same purpose. These included the Baʿth Pioneers (TalāʾalBaʿth), the Revolutionary Youth Union, the National Union of Syrian Students, the Peasants’ Union, and the General Union of Women. Their function was threefold – representation, recruitment and control. First, these organizations would ensure that their legitimate interests, particularly their social and cultural concerns, were represented in the political system; the political leadership would prioritize these interests and decide which of them should be considered legitimate.

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