Asad's Syria at the crossroads: strategic and political culture vs. new world order
Kugu, Ali R.
Magnus, Ralph H.
Robinson, Glenn E.
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The collapse of the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union marked the end of a painful era in history. As the 20th century draws to a close, mankind is busy establishing a common world in which nations can understand each other more easily than in the Cold War. Peace, democracy, and free market economy are the cornerstones of this new order. However, Syria is still anti-democratic, economically backward and a conflict-prone state. The main thesis of this work is that Syrian political and strategic culture is one of the major obstacles to Syria's transformation into a democratic, peaceful and prosperous country. The most immediate problem faced by Syria is the urgency for liberalization at home and peace in the region. However, President Hafiz al-Asad's personal way of thinking, the Ba'th ideology, and the political system all impede Syria from undergoing necessary structural transformations and concluding the Middle East peace process with a viable peace agreement. This is because liberalization and peace put the survival of Asad's dictatorship at stake. As a result, it is plausible to argue that Syria will not be a partner of the new world order as long as Asad or his clique remains in power.
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