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Reinterpreting Authoritarian power: Syria's Hereditary Succession

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Abstract:

When Hafiz al-Asad died in 2000, his son Bashar became Syria's president. By examining an unresolved inconsistency in the leading accounts about Syria's succession, this article reveals the limitations of single-person rule analysis as the causal explanation for Syria's hereditary leadership selection. I provide an alternative explanation by emphasizing the role of senior elites in forming regime consensus around Bashar al-Asad's candidacy. Hereditary successions, therefore, reveal an instance of authoritarian continuity rather than one likely to end in regime breakdown.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/65.2.11

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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