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Challenging the Baath Party: A study of two episodes of popular contention in Syria

Söderberg, Stefan (2008)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
The authoritarian Ba?th regime in power in Syria since 1966 has been challenged twice by popular contention. In the first case, ?The Islamic rebellion?, the episode of contention erupted into violence, in the second case, ?The Damascus Spring?, it did not. In both cases the challengers changed strategies and methods of contention adapting to their counterparts and the external environment.

This study argues for theoretical ?primacy of process? when investigating changing strategies and methods of popular contention in authoritarian settings, with the starting point in Social Movement Theory. Scholars in the same propose a variety of analytical dimensions and mechanisms in order to offer explanations to processes of popular contention, and... (More)
The authoritarian Ba?th regime in power in Syria since 1966 has been challenged twice by popular contention. In the first case, ?The Islamic rebellion?, the episode of contention erupted into violence, in the second case, ?The Damascus Spring?, it did not. In both cases the challengers changed strategies and methods of contention adapting to their counterparts and the external environment.

This study argues for theoretical ?primacy of process? when investigating changing strategies and methods of popular contention in authoritarian settings, with the starting point in Social Movement Theory. Scholars in the same propose a variety of analytical dimensions and mechanisms in order to offer explanations to processes of popular contention, and these make up the bulk on which a symbiotic model is constructed in this paper.

Attempting to explain first how actors attribute opportunities and threats to their context, and second how that results in strategy formulation, the most important element of the analysis is focus on interaction. The analysis identifies interactions between mechanisms of polarisation, nature of state repression, mobilising structures, internal identity shifts, perceived access to the political system, and ideological, political and religious frames. These interactions shape the episodes of contention, which in turn interacts with the external environment of international politics as well as leaves footprints on future political climate. (Less)
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author
Söderberg, Stefan
supervisor
organization
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Popular contention, Syrian politics, Social Movement Theory, Islamic rebellion, Damascus Spring, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
language
English
id
1319596
date added to LUP
2008-09-03
date last changed
2008-09-03
@misc{1319596,
  abstract     = {The authoritarian Ba?th regime in power in Syria since 1966 has been challenged twice by popular contention. In the first case, ?The Islamic rebellion?, the episode of contention erupted into violence, in the second case, ?The Damascus Spring?, it did not. In both cases the challengers changed strategies and methods of contention adapting to their counterparts and the external environment.

This study argues for theoretical ?primacy of process? when investigating changing strategies and methods of popular contention in authoritarian settings, with the starting point in Social Movement Theory. Scholars in the same propose a variety of analytical dimensions and mechanisms in order to offer explanations to processes of popular contention, and these make up the bulk on which a symbiotic model is constructed in this paper.

Attempting to explain first how actors attribute opportunities and threats to their context, and second how that results in strategy formulation, the most important element of the analysis is focus on interaction. The analysis identifies interactions between mechanisms of polarisation, nature of state repression, mobilising structures, internal identity shifts, perceived access to the political system, and ideological, political and religious frames. These interactions shape the episodes of contention, which in turn interacts with the external environment of international politics as well as leaves footprints on future political climate.},
  author       = {Söderberg, Stefan},
  keyword      = {Popular contention,Syrian politics,Social Movement Theory,Islamic rebellion,Damascus Spring,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Challenging the Baath Party: A study of two episodes of popular contention in Syria},
  year         = {2008},
}