This volume, edited by Raymond Hinnebusch, professor of international relations and Middle East politics at St. Andrews University, and Tina Zintl, lecturer at the Uni- versity of Tübingen, is not solely a last-minute update of the Syrian civil war. Instead, it brings the reader back into a reassessment of the “recent past” of that country, providing detailed insights into the political and social dynamics before the 2011 uprisings that, arguably, would form the roots of the ensuing war. Firmly grounded in the scientific fields of political and social sciences, Syria from Reform to Revolt is set to be a must-read for those scholars and policy makers who long for a better-informed understanding of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its relations with Syrian society. Outlined in the long introduction and final chapter, the main thesis of the editors is based on the “authoritarian upgrading” of the Syrian regime during the 2000s. This was an attempt by Assad to place the regime in tune with global and regional standards of neoliberalism and “post-populism,” while retaining ultimate control and positioning the country within the so-called “axis of resistance” to Western interference in the Middle East. Reformist policies scored some limited results in the short term but fueled dis- content among large sections of the population, including regime elites and provincial, traditional constituencies. Such “grievances” were never dealt with seriously and became those “vulnerabilities” of the regime that later could arguably be labeled the “seeds of the revolt” to come (pp. 29, 293).

Book Review of Syria from Reform to Revolt. Volume 1: Political Economy and International Relations, edited by Raymond Hinnebusch and Tina Zintl. Syracuse University Press, 2015. 335 pages

TRENTIN, MASSIMILIANO
2015

Abstract

This volume, edited by Raymond Hinnebusch, professor of international relations and Middle East politics at St. Andrews University, and Tina Zintl, lecturer at the Uni- versity of Tübingen, is not solely a last-minute update of the Syrian civil war. Instead, it brings the reader back into a reassessment of the “recent past” of that country, providing detailed insights into the political and social dynamics before the 2011 uprisings that, arguably, would form the roots of the ensuing war. Firmly grounded in the scientific fields of political and social sciences, Syria from Reform to Revolt is set to be a must-read for those scholars and policy makers who long for a better-informed understanding of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its relations with Syrian society. Outlined in the long introduction and final chapter, the main thesis of the editors is based on the “authoritarian upgrading” of the Syrian regime during the 2000s. This was an attempt by Assad to place the regime in tune with global and regional standards of neoliberalism and “post-populism,” while retaining ultimate control and positioning the country within the so-called “axis of resistance” to Western interference in the Middle East. Reformist policies scored some limited results in the short term but fueled dis- content among large sections of the population, including regime elites and provincial, traditional constituencies. Such “grievances” were never dealt with seriously and became those “vulnerabilities” of the regime that later could arguably be labeled the “seeds of the revolt” to come (pp. 29, 293).
Trentin, Massimiliano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/514576
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