Fred H. Lawson (editor)
SOAS Middle East Issues Series
Syria stands at the centre of contemporary Middle Eastern affairs but remains poorly understood. Recent writing has focussed on the intentions and objectives of the political leadership in Damascus, yet there are many severe constraints on what senior policy-makers can actually do. This collection presents new research conducted by the contributors on rarely studied aspects of Syrian politics, economics and diplomacy. Essays on the shifting relations between the Ba’th party and the armed forces, burgeoning private enterprise, and the dramatic Turkish-Syrian detente will prove essential reading for anyone with an interest in this pivotal and assertive Middle Eastern state.
“Demystifying Syria is arguably a complex book, one that, owing to the rich and detailed accounts including names and places and sometimes presenting pieces of information that are generally overlooked or unreported, is certainly aimed at people already knowledgeable about the country. Nevertheless, it is also a book that is likely to conquer and fascinate the non-expert public given its ability to mix the discussion of theories and debates with the recollection of anecdotes, a down-to-earth style and a profusion of information and explanations.”
Fred H. Lawson is Rice Professor of Government at Mills College, California, USA. Between 1992-3 he was a Fulbright lecturer in International Relations at the University of Aleppo, Syria. He is the author of Constructing International Relations in the Arab World (Stanford University Press) and Why Syria Goes to War (Cornell University Press).