Middle East Studies
English edition  
May  2012
256 pp.
15X23 cm
ISBN 9789774165559
For sale only in the Middle East


Adaptable Autocrats

Regime Power in Egypt and Syria Joshua Stacher

A revealing examination of the ongoing control of old regimes in the Middle East

Notwithstanding the 2011 Arab Spring, autocratic continuity—not wide-ranging political change—remains the hallmark of the region’s upheaval. Contrasting Egypt and Syria, Joshua Stacher examines how executive power is structured in each country to show how these preexisting power configurations shaped the uprisings and, in turn, the outcomes. Even as Mubarak was forced to relinquish the Egyptian presidency, military generals from the regime were charged with leading the transition. The course of the Syrian uprising reveals a key difference: the decentralized character of Syrian politics. Political structures, elite alliances, state institutions, and governing practices are seldom swept away entirely—even following successful revolutions—so it is vital to examine the various contexts for regime survival. Elections, protests, and political struggles will continue to define the region in the coming years. Examining the lead-up to the Egyptian and Syrian uprisings helps us unlock the complexity behind the protests and transitions.
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Joshua Stacher is assistant professor of political science at Kent State University.

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In this interview with the AUC Press, Joshua Stacher speaks about the political situations both in Egypt and Syria, against the backdrop of the 3rd Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution and the Syria peace talks in Geneva, respectively. Click here to watch the video.


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"This is one of the best, most concrete explorations of development in Egyptian and Syrian politics over the last decade. Stacher provides an original look at the inner workings and dynamics of two vitally important regimes in the Arab world and lays out the implication for the future of the significant differences between these two political systems."—Samer Shehata, Georgetown University

"Stacher delivers key insights into the paradox of the rapid fall of the strong executive in Egypt's highly centralized state in 2011, while Syria's much more decentralized state hangs on to power. This timely work provides a rare window on elites and their alliances and struggles. It is a must-read for those who wish to better understand whether the 'Arab Spring' will lead to the redistribution of political and economic power by limiting executive authority, or merely will replace one elite group with another."—Diane Singerman, American University

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