Books on Syria and the Syrian Revolution: The Struggle for Power in Syria

The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society Under Asad and the Ba’th Party

Author: Nikolaos Van Dam

Publisher: I. B. Tauris

Publication Date: 2011


In the midst of turmoil in the Middle East, and in the face of protests and demonstrations from Homs to Damascus and other places all over Syria, the Ba’th Party and Bashar al-Asad are truly caught up in a struggle to hold onto power in Syria. In this important book, Nikolaos van Dam explores and explains how the Asad dynasty has come to rule Syria for about half a century and keep the complex patchwork of minorities, factions and opponents securely under control for such an unprecedented long period. Through an in-depth examination of the role of sectarian, regional and tribal loyalties, van Dam traces developments within the Ba’th party and the military and civilian power elite from the 1963 Ba’thist takeover up to the present day.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The rise of minorities in the Syrian armed forces and in the Ba’th Party
Chapter 3: Sectarian polarisation in the Syrian armed forces between Sunnis and religious minorities
Chapter 4: The purge of Druze officers in the Syrian armed forces
Chapter 5: The struggle for power within the Alawi community
Chapter 6: Sectarian and regional factionalism in the Syrian political elite: a statistical analysis
Chapter 7: Sectarian provocation and confrontation
Chapter 8: Sectarian showdown: eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood
Chapter 9: The power elite under Hafiz al-Asad
Chapter 10: Conclusions
Chapter 11: Syrian Ba’thist memoir

Author Information:

Nikolaos van Dam is a specialist on Syria and has served as Ambassador of the Netherlands to Indonesia, Germany, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq.

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