Monday, April 15, 2024
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Navigating the foreign policy dynamics of Syrian Ba’ath party through Cold war era

Ba’athism:

The 20th century ideology to reawaken the Arab nationalism against the imperial powers was named as Ba’athism. The title came after an Arabic word – Ba’ath which is translated as renaissance, resurrection and awakening to some extent. Ba’athism features the ideas of anti-imperialism, non-alignment, pan-Arabism, and socialism. The ideology is secular in nature and does not have any religious dimension. Ba’athism origins from a middle eastern country – Syria championed by Aflaq and Bitar in 1943 (Anonymous, n.d) which is to be elaborated in detail in the following text. This revolutionary ideology has socialism and pan-Arabism as key elements which is evident by Article 4 of the constitution of ideology.

 

The Arab Resurrection Socialist Party is socialist, believing that socialism is necessarily derived from genuine Arab nationalism because it is the exemplary system which will permit the Arab people to realize its own potentialities. Socialism will cause the Arab genius to unfold in the most complete manner. Socialism will guarantee the continuous growth of the nation in its spiritual and material development; and it will guarantee close fraternization among its individual members. (Jstor, 1959)

 

Ba’athism is an Arab political philosophy which was founded in the resistance of European colonialism after the fall of Ottoman empire. The ideology attracted those Arab activists who wanted to overthrow the European backed governments in the region of Middle East and to create a modern industrial economy. (Anonymous, Profile: Syria’s ruling Baath Party, 2012) The original ideology of Ba’ath Party was establishment of inqilab which meant the transformation of politics and society in Syria and creation of single secular and socialist Arab nation. Many scholars refer Ba’athist party as Arab nationalist version of communism. However, Aflaq always referred to communism as a wrong form of secularism.

The secular Ba’athist ideology never disregarded Islam and stressed on its instrumental role in the Arab identity and culture. Aflaq stressed the Christians of Arab world to consider Islam as a national culture which got significant support from the Syrian population. A sense of “civil religion” by the help of “nationalism” was created, where Islam was given an important role to reawaken the Arab world. Being the followers of cyclic phase of history, Ba’athists stressed on the golden age when Arabs enjoyed glory under the Islamic empire. Aflaq emphasized that 1940s was the time to resurrect and bring the lost glory back to the Arab nation.

The ideology had three principal components which shaped its direction in each social, political, and economic domain. Wahda, meaning unity remained the social component of the ideology. This pillar called for the unity of Arab world, creation of a single Arab state and the promotion of pan-Arabism. Huriya, meaning freedom, was the second important component which organized the political dimension of the ideology. This pillar stressed on the importance of freedom against the colonizers (French men and Britian) of the Middle Eastern region at that time. While the third foundational element was named as Ishtirakya meaning socialism. This pillar stands as the economic one focusing on improving the living conditions of people in the post-colonial era. All of these foundational elements remained the early slogans of the Baathist ideology.

In the post-independence era traditional changes were required in society. The traditional Arab parties such as National Party, National Bloc and People’s party failed to provide, instead they became involved in immoral activities such as corruption. After successfully fighting against Frenchmen these parties remained disorganized. Each of them strived for their consolidation of power only. While the post-independent Syria called for the needs of structural changes which Baathism advocated. Such as under Huriya – freedom educational reforms were looked at to remove the old privileges of traditional oligarchy. Syrian Arabs started following the visionary philosopher – Aflaq. Such efforts paved the way of Ba’athism after 1947.

Due to the dynamic nature of this ideology, it did not remain confined with in the Syrian border. Tho the Ba’athist ideology was founded in Syria, but later on it also spread to other middle eastern countries such as Iraq. Similar to the situation in Syria the Ba’athist party took control of Iraq several times. However, there are many critiques of Ba’athist ideology given its authoritarian nature and its role in perpetuating dictatorial regimes in the Arab region.

Michel Aflaq and the evolution of Ba’ath party:

The profound influence of Michel Aflaq on the evolution of Ba’athist ideology dates back to decades when he started his efforts in shaping a new political landscape and ideology in the Arab world. Michel Aflaq was a fierce defender of Arab nationalism and one of the founders of Ba’athist party. He was born on January 9, 1910, in an orthodox Christian family residing in the capital city of Syria, Damascus. His parents were also involved in many nationalistic activities against the occupation of European power – French (Stegagno, 2015). Aflaq got his early education from Westernized Schools of French mandate in Syria, where he was considered one of the brilliant student.

After studying from High School, Aflaq secured a scholarship and went to Sorbonne University for his higher education. From 1928 to 1932 Aflaq remained in Paris to pursue his degree in philosophy and these years proved to be the formative years for Aflaq’s ideology. Aflaq learned about Marxism, Communism and Socialism while his degree by closely studying Karl Max and Friedrich Hegel.  These ideological studies left its imprints on the formation of Ba’athism. Through this exposure Aflaq developed a synthesis of socialist principles and Arab nationalism which turned to be the cornerstones of his ideology.

While stay at Paris, Aflaq met his partner Salah al-Din al-Bitar who was also on scholarship to Sorbonne University. Both of them formed a political partnership between them. With the help of those Arabs who were living and studying in Paris, Aflaq created UAS – Union of Arab Students. The union worked on the goal of freedom and independence of the Arab lands under the colonial rule. Weekly sessions were held within the union on the topic of socialism and nationalism while the moral imperative of mass awakening of the Arab world to get the lost glory under the colonial rule was stressed upon.

Arabs always dreamt of a sovereign and democratic future. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire who ruled them for approximately four centuries, a hope of legitimacy and freedom arose in Arabs. This time period laid the ideological bases for a political revolution. Following the Sykes Picot agreement in 1916, another period of external rule started when the mandate of Syria and Lebanon was given to the new French rulers. Unlike the previous colonial power, there was no confessional link between the rulers and the public. Such type of developments laid the foundation of discontent in Syrian population. Many nationalist ideologies materialized at the time. Socialism, communism, Arab nationalism, and Islamism also emerged.

The mandate of Syria and Lebanon was divided into 6 regions. Different nationalist movements and demonstrations started against the colonial powers. Different uprisings and nationalist movements started taking place. Moving smartly the French rulers gifted plots and territorial lands to different ethnic groups. Such efforts were made in order to disband nationalism and consolidate their rule. Michel Aflaq directed the discontent among population towards the formation of Ba’athism. The disorganized traditional nationalist movements paved way for Aflaq to come up with his idea of revolution after 1947.

The decade of 1940s was a new ideological and political era for the Syrian population. This era witnessed some major economic and social changes. Michel Aflaq – a philosopher, teacher, thinker and ultimately a politician stood out as a spiritual leader in this era of change. In 1932 after completing his degree, Aflaq came back to Syria with a revolutionary mind. He started is efforts to revolutionize the Syrian society with the slogans of “Wahda, Huriya and Ishtirakiya.” Through the time period, Aflaq played a central role in shaping the organizational structure of Ba’athist Party. In 1934 Aflaq and Bitar published “al-Tali” journal to spread leftist and progressive content.  Later on, Aflaq joined the high school from which he studied himself to teach history.

He started promoting his ideology through such interactions and successfully gathered an intellectual community around him. Each Friday community meetings were organized to further disseminate his intentions and ideology. Such efforts were welcomed by growing number of masses. Michel Aflaq launched Arab Ilhya Movement in 1940 to rejuvenate the revolutionary intentions of masses. Two years later he tried to form a political party, but the authorities of French mandate blocked his efforts.

Finally in April 1947, Aflaq officially announced the formation of al-Arab Ba’ath Party. The struggle of fifteen to twenty years became fruitful where Aflaq emerged as one of the best leaders of Arab world. Michel Aflaq was declared as the spiritual leader of the party while Salah al-Din al-Bitar was appointed as the General Secretary (GS) of the party. After the failure in 1948 Arab-Israel war, Aflaq criticized President Shukri al-Quwatli for ineffective leadership and formation of Israel. Different protests and demonstrations were held against the government. Such type of situation led to the imprisonment of Aflaq for some time in 1948.

In 1949 Aflaq, in search of strong alliance outside the Ba’ath party formed ideological and political cooperation with Akram al-Hourani. Hourani who was working to increase the living conditions of Syrians formed a strong strategic alliance with Aflaq. Both of them started working to demolish the corrupt and traditional leadership in Syria (Verre, 2020). After the declaration of military coup of 1948 by a military officer Adil Shiskali he himself became the de facto ruler. In 1951 after becoming the prime minister, he banned all types of activities of the political parties of Syria. In such circumstances both Aflaq and Bitar fled to Lebanon. The year of 1953 marked the official formation of Arab Socialist Ba’ath party in Lebanon. Two parties – Arab Ba’ath Party of Michel Aflaq and Socialist Arab Ba’ath Party of Akram al-Hourani who were already in a strong alliance officially announced their merger. After the end of coup, Shishkali rule ended, and elections were held in 1954 Aflaq’s party won 22 seats.

From 1954 onwards, Syria experienced political instability where there were frequent changes in the leadership of the country. In 1958, both Egypt and Syria joined to form United Arab Republic (UAR) where Jamal Abdul Nasser served as the president of the union. Right after three years of union, Syria withdrew in 1961 following a military coup. In 1963, the Ba’athist officers with support of Aflaq took the administration in a coup d’etat. Following this event, conflicts between military and Ba’athist civilians started. As a result, Michel Aflaq lost his party in 1965. In this era of chaos, al-Bitar served as a prime minister while military Ba’athists and civilian Ba’athist continued to fight.

The disagreements between both military and civilian Ba’athists grew. The military Ba’athists declared a coup in 1966. Michel Aflaq along with other civilian Ba’athists fled to Beirut and the to Brazil. The coup was led by military officers Hafez al-Assad and Salah Jadid. In this time period, the Ba’athist party split into two parts, one in Iraq and the other in Syria (World, 2022). Salah Jadid became the new leader of the party while Zaki al-Arsuzi was declared as the mentor of the party in Syria. Saddam Hussain and Ahmed Hassan al-Bakkar were appointed as Iraqi Ba’athist leaders. The Iraqi Ba’athist leaders chosen Aflaq – their leader and mentor as the general secretary of the party.

After this appointment Aflaq came back to Baghdad. Within his duration Aflaq helped the party to achieve its objectives of secularism, nationalism, and pan-Arabism. Aflaq worked to shape the party’s direction and maintain its dominance in the Iraqi politics. However, rifts started with the leaders on their failure to support Yasser Arafat and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). To his disappointment, Aflaq left Baghdad in 1970 and moved back to Beirut.

At the time of Lebanese civil war, Michal Aflaq came back to Baghdad but remained away from politics but remained the secretary general of the party. He spent his time by writing his thoughts and books. He died in 1989 in Paris but was brought back to Baghdad by Saddam Hussain and was buried with Muslim rituals.

Navigating the foreign policy of Ba’ath party in cold war period: Amity towards USSR

The cold war period was marked with an intense rivalry between two poles of power. In the era from 1945 to 1991 both US and USSR were engaged in geopolitical competition with major ideological opposition between them. In 1945 UN terminated the French mandate which evacuated Syria and led to its independence. In this era the newly independent country Syria was going through the emergence of a new political ideology Ba’athism. The Ba’athist party played a central role in shaping the Syrian population in each economic, social, and political domain. The foreign policy of the country also went through a complex landscape to seek a balance of its interests and realities of the cold war dynamics.

As the WWII period ended the region of Middle East became a battle ground for the USSR and US rivalry. After the rise of Ba’ath party in Syrian power, Ba’ath party became a significant player in Middle Eastern politics, shaping regional dynamics and challenging Western influence in the Arab world. During the cold war period, the Ba’ath party navigated its foreign policy in a manner to pursue its goals of anti-imperialism, Arab independence, and promotion of socialist development. At the time, Arab nationalism was on rise in the region against western imperialism. USSR stayed at an advantageous position, supported the revolutionary tendencies, and helped such factions while opposed Western supported regimes. USSR started backing newly independent and anti-imperialist countries.

The socialist responsibility of Soviet Union and anti-imperialist stance of Ba’ath party led to a strong alliance between both. Ba’ath party sought to cultivate good ties with Moscow, viewing Soviet Union as a potential ally against its agenda of anti-imperialism towards the western hegemony. The active American policy towards middle east after the discovery of oil and gas in the region was taken as a symbol of imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism. Soviet Union started aiding Arab regimes to gain loyalty towards Moscow and sympathy for socialism.

In 1946 a secret agreement was signed between Soviet Union and Syria which focused on military cooperation and economic assistance. The beginning of cordial relations between both was marked by this agreement. Later on, in 1950 Soviet Syrian non-aggression pact was signed between both the countries (Muhterem AKGÜDEN, 2023). The bilateral agreement was aimed at ensuring mutual non-aggression and cooperation. After this agreement the two countries established diplomatic relations and outlined principles of peaceful coexistence. The pact also included the economic and military cooperation provisions while Soviet Union provided Syria with assistance in various fields.

In 1954, Syria experienced a wave of political instability following the ousting of President Adib al-Shishkali. Frequent changes in leadership were witnessed creating a power vacuum and series of military coups, countercoups, and changes of government. Instability prevailed in the country where different factions were vying or control. In this time “Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party” became prominent. At the Syria became the first Arab country to buy arms from Moscow. Later in 1955, Syria leaning towards eastern bloc refused to join the Baghdad pact. At this time, Soviet Union assured Syria for every type of support. The relations were seen becoming closer when Iraq and Turkey signed a mutual pact which posed a threat to the security of Syria.

After the Ba’ath party take over in 1963 a period of close cooperation was witnessed between Soviet Union and Syria. This period was characterized by military, economic and ideological ties. Through Soviet influence Ba’ath party adopted many socialist policies such as key industrial and land reforms. Syria was able to offset Western influence in the region—especially that of the United States and its allies—by aligning itself with the Soviet Union. The Ba’athists aimed to use Moscow’s help to increase Syria’s security and influence in the Middle East since they considered Moscow as a crucial ally in their fight against imperialism and the support of west for Israel. According to the special national intelligence estimate of 1950s, the government of US believed that the relations between Soviet Union and Syria were not ideologically aligned in fact it is a reaction of the support given to Israel by West.

Soviet Union remained a crucial ally of Syria during the Ba’ath leadership. Socialism played a key role in building good relations between both countries. However, to build good relations with Soviet ruling class Ba’ath regime needed to become more socialist. To further align with socialist principles, the Ba’ath regime took several initiatives such as adoption of socialist policies, close cooperation with Soviet ruling advisors, cultural and educational exchanges, and political alignment. Many Soviet teachers were sent to Syria for the creation of native educational system. USSR also offered to educate high-achieving students to Syria. Soviet sought to create global intellectual elites who support the ideology of USSR. Moreover, different exchanges of arts, literature, education, science, sports, and physical culture also took place.

These close relations between Ba’athist regime and Soviet Union not only influenced the foreign policy of the country but also impacted the identity of Syria. Through the ideological dimensions and eastern leaning of Ba’ath regime, it was placed in anti-western camp. Syria was being labelled as “Shadow of Soviet in the Middle East” (Muhterem AKGÜDEN, 2023). Syria also enjoyed good relations with Cuba and other members of Warsaw pact and COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). However, in this era of ideal alliance many different disagreements also existed. Each side prioritizing its national interest dived into various differences, but it did not impact majorly on the alliance between both the countries. Some of the major disagreements were on the events of October 1973 Arab-Israel war, 1975 Lebanese civil war and the conflict between PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and Syria in 1976 and later wars of 1983 and 1985.

Navigating the foreign policy of Ba’ath party in cold war period: relation with US

As the period of cold war started, US started focusing on broader regions to prevail her idea of world order. Middle East became one of the important ground for her strategic interests. Amid this geopolitical chaos of cold war, the Syrian Ba’ath Party shaped a very complex foreign policy. The foreign policy actions towards US were shaped by regional dynamics, ideological differences, and strategic interests.

By the start of this era, the relations between US and Syria were characterized with cautious engagement. As the French troops departed the country on April 15, 1946, celebrations were seen outside the US embassy while US provided Syria with some economic and diplomatic support. At the time Syria remained wary of western influence and focused on its ideology of Arab nationalism and anti-imperialism against the western hegemony.

In 1948, the US government under Truman’s leadership supported the establishment of a separate Jewish homeland – Israel and later recognized its formation. Such stance of Truman’s leadership towards Palestine issue strained its relationship with Syria. Many nationalists from Syria infiltrated Israel fighting guerilla warfare and sabotaging the operations of Israel to support broader interest of Arab nation (Little, 1990). Later tensions between Syria and US were witnessed on the Alexandretta province of Turkey.

Washington viewed Syria as the most vital ally in the region of middle east to contain the Soviet influence and secure her strategic interest in this oil rich region. Thus, US economic aid, military assistance, and diplomatic support to the successive governments of the country. However, by the rise of Ba’ath ideology the relations between both countries were highly influenced.

In 1947 to 1948 Syria refused to ARAMCO – consortium of American oil companies requests to export heavy steel pipe for TAPLINE. Radical workers and students launched anti-Israel and anti-American demonstrations in November 1948. In the middle of this political chaos a CIA operative Stephen Meade established contact with the chief of staff Husni Zaim. Both developed an alliance to overthrow the existing government of Khalid al-Azm and bring a pro-western regime.

After Zaim came to power, his pro-US policies on different issues related to Israel, Turkey and ARAMCO made the Syrian mass unhappy. Consequently, Colonel Sami Hinnawi and other unhappy officers overthrew Zaim’s government and executed him on Aug 14, 1949. After the elections Hinnawi’s populist party claimed victory and the US Syria frictions arose again.

In 1960s by the rise of Ba’ath party in power, a new dynamic of relationship between Syria and US were forged. The Ba’athists promoted anti-imperialist rhetoric and aimed to demonstrate Syria’s independence from Western influence through their socialist and Arab nationalist agenda. Tensions and sporadic clashes resulted from this ideological position’s conflict with US objectives in the region.

One of the major events related to US and Syria relations which took place in the time of cold war was Arab-Israeli conflict. At the time Syria emerged as a staunch supporter and vocal critique for the Palestinian cause while US supported Israel. In the further Arab Israeli conflicts, the difference between Syria and US deepened while the actions of US were taken as a betrayal to the Arab cause.

Furthermore, the Syrian alliance with the eastern block and its socialist tendencies concerned US about the intentions and capabilities of Damascus. Both the countries feared each other for their intentions i.e: Syria feared US interventionism while US considered Damascus anti-West movements as threat to its interests. In a nutshell, US-Syrian ties remained tense throughout the Cold War due to divergent interests and perspectives on the Middle East.

 

Impact on regional influence and internal governance:

The foreign policy actions of the Ba’ath regime had profound impact on both the regional and domestic levels. To promote the vision of pan Arabism and bolster the standing of Syria in the Arab world, the Ba’ath regime pursued confrontational and often assertive approach in its foreign relations.

At the regional level, Ba’ath party pursued a foreign policy characterized by the mixture of anti-imperialism and alignment towards Soviet Union. The Ba’ath party became a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and critic of western interventionism in the region. Such stance elevated the standing of Syria in the region profiling it as a staunch supporter of Arab cause and pan Arabism.

A close alliance with Moscow was sought to balance the perceived security threat and the opposite pole – the West. With the help from Soviet Union, Syria smoothly went through the Israeli conflicts and established its influence in Lebanon successfully. However, the anti-west and pro-Palestinian approach also dragged Syria into many conflicts such as the Arab-Israel wars of 1967 and 1973 which harmed the security and stability of Syria.

Internally, the Ba’ath party established an authoritarian rule. Many Syrians found resonance in the party’s anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist rhetoric, which helped to legitimize the regime’s authoritarian rule and garner support for it. The assertive stance of Syria on different affairs in the region helped it to consolidate its rule and derive a sense of national harmony and pride for the Syrian mass.

The flow of aid from Soviet Union to Syria provided the country with essential military and economic assistance. The excess of resources in such a way bolstered the Ba’athist grip on power (Ginat, 2000). The assistance helped the regime to maintain its control over security and military apparatus, implement socialist policies and suppress any type of dissent to consolidate its rule.

However, the prioritization of the regime to the external struggle over the internal governance forged a sense of alienation among the Syrian mass. The Ba’ath party confrontational foreign policy, its support to radical Arab nationalist movements and involvement in regional conflicts exacerbated internal tensions, fueled domestic opposition and sectarian divisions.

Moreover, the alliance with Soviet Union also came with several repercussions many of which were economic. The aid from Soviet Union, while having many benefits had several drawbacks also. The incoming aid created inefficiency and economic dependency. Several socialist policies such as collectivization of agriculture and nationalization of industry hindered innovation and entrepreneurship which exacerbated inequality and economic stagnation.

Initially promising political reforms, freedom of speech, the Ba’ath regime quickly suppressed the dissenting voices through imprisonment, intimidation, and censorship. During the Ba’ath regime, freedom of expression was severely restricted (Robert D. Kaplan, 2018). The socialist orientation adopted by Ba’ath party emphasized central authority, state control and suppression of dissenting voices. Journalists, activists and critical of government faced persecution and repercussions. The socialist policies to consolidate power and ensure ideological conformity shrink the space for political opposition and freedom of expression creating a very conserved and closed society.

To put it all, the foreign policy actions of Syria while flourished its standing in the Arab world and strengthened it against the external threats also fueled regional tensions and strained its relations with the western powers. The policies of Ba’ath regime also resulted in internal instability many times. The alignment of Ba’ath regime with the Soviet Union and its socialist approach had complicated effects of its governance, strengthening its grip on power while exacerbated economic challenges and social divisions.

Conclusion:

The formation of al-Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party came into action over the Arab philosophy of “Ba’athism” aimed at promoting secular Arab nationalism, Arab socialism and pan Arabism. Being found on the agenda of resistance to European colonialism the party became prominent in 1940s. However, in 1963 Ba’athist coup established the Ba’ath party as the only legal political party of Syria blocking the political pathways of the opposition. Many officers in military helped the Ba’ath party to come into power.

By the start of next era of Ba’athist party Hafez al-Assad seized power in 1970. The early aspirations of a secular society attracted many other ethnic and religious minorities which were marginalized at the time of Ottoman rule and later European colonizers. In 1973 the constitutional amendment in Syria bought Ba’ath party a unique status of “leader of state and society” depicting the active role of Ba’athism in both state and society.

By the acquisition of new status Ba’athists started indoctrinating children, controlling trade unions and monitoring military through different military committees. Seats were being reserved in government and military for the Ba’athists (Anonymous, Profile: Syria’s ruling Baath Party, 2012). However, by the downfall of the USSR the Ba’ath party also went through some major ideological changes. Bashar al-Assad started working on economic liberalization through 1980s and 1990s. Finally in 2000 neo-liberal reforms were announced.

The rapid changes in the party rule and policies were not aligned to what Michel advocated. The Ba’ath party under Michel navigated very complex policies both at domestic and at the foreign level. Syria was engaged in different alliances and ideological rivalries through the time period. The engagement of regime with both US and USSR were driven by strategic consideration and regional dynamics.

Under the leadership of Michel Aflaq, the ideology of Ba’athism evolved from a nationalist ideology to a socialist vision that emphasized the policies of social justice and state intervention. The worldview and policies of Ba’ath party were shaped by the intellectual contributions of Aflaq which influenced the party’s approach in governance and foreign affairs.

In navigating the relations of Syria with US in the cold war time, Ba’ath party pursued a policy of cautious engagement. While different cooperations were witnessed many confrontations also took place. Ba’ath party was a vocal critic of US policies of interventionism and immoral stance on Palestine issue. With major ideological differences between each other, both prioritized their strategic interests while the relations marked bare cooperation and higher confrontations.

Similarly, shared ideological affinities and ideological imperatives the Ba’ath party and Soviet Union derived their relations of amity, cooperation, and strong alliance. Damascus amity towards Moscow strengthened its security against external threats by receiving crucial military and economic assistance. However, the relations of regime with Soviet Union also impacted its political identity – Shadow of Soviet in Middle East and contributed to many regional tensions such as Arab-Israel wars.

Syrian regional influence and internal governance were significantly impacted by the foreign policy choices of Ba’ath regime. While many positive outcomes were witnessed for Syria such as enhanced Syrian profile in the Arab world and bolstering security these choices also brought many unwanted outcomes such as strained relations with the neighboring states and exacerbation of regional conflicts. Domestically the authoritarian and socialist policies of the government suppressed the political dissent, hindered the economic progress of the country which contributed to political and social unrest.

Talking in context to the further developments, the future of Ba’athism in Syria remains uncertain. Despite the strong hold of Bashar al-Assad on power and the government, the regime is facing numerous challenges such as economic stagnation, internal dissent, and political instability. Though its long-term prospects will depend on its capacity to meet the needs of the Syrian people and adjust to shifting regional circumstances, the legacy of Ba’athism continues to influence Syrian politics.

Currently, the Ba’ath regime is facing several challenges and confronts pressure from both internal and external actors seeking accountability and political change. Years of socioeconomic inequality and autocratic leadership have driven calls for reform and the shift to democracy. The future trajectory of the Ba’ath regime and the destiny of Ba’athism in Syria will be determined by how well it manages these intricate dynamics as the country struggles to recover from a terrible civil war and the difficulties of reconstruction.

 

Bibliography

Anonymous. (2012, 07 09). Profile: Syria’s ruling Baath Party. Retrieved from BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-18582755

Anonymous. (n.d, n.d n.d). Harvard Dignity School. Retrieved from Ba’ath Party in Syria: https://rpl.hds.harvard.edu/faq/baath-party-syria

Ginat, R. (2000). The Soviet Union and the Syrian Ba’th Regime: From Hesitation to Rapprochement. Middle Eastern Studies, 150-171.

Jstor. (1959). The Constitution of the Arab Resurrection. (Ba’th) Socialist Party of Syria. Middle East Journal, 195-200.

Little, D. (1990). Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945-1958. Middle East Journal, 51-75.

Muhterem AKGÜDEN, A. Ö. (2023). The Roots of the Soviet-Syrian Alliance: A Neo-Gramscian Perspective. Izmir journal of economics, 1176-1193.

Robert D. Kaplan. (2018, 03 07). Baathism Caused the Chaos in Iraq and Syria. Retrieved from Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/07/baathism-caused-the-chaos-in-iraq-and-syria/

Stegagno, C. (2015, 04 11). A brief history of the Ba’th Party. Introduction to Michel Aflaq’s ideology. Retrieved from Asfar: https://asfar.org.uk/a-brief-history-of-the-bath-party-introduction-to-michel-aflaqs-ideology/

Verre, F. (2020). The ideological construction of a ‘Civil Religion’: 1947-1952. Research Gate.

World, T. (2022). Michel Aflaq founded Syria’s Baath Party 75 years ago. TRT World.

Manahil Baz
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Manahil Baz is a passionate student of International Relations at Bahria University Islamabad, dedicated to exploring diverse topics within the field through rigorous research. With a keen interest in global affairs, Manahil strives to contribute insightful perspectives to the discourse on international relations.

Manahil Baz
Manahil Baz is a passionate student of International Relations at Bahria University Islamabad, dedicated to exploring diverse topics within the field through rigorous research. With a keen interest in global affairs, Manahil strives to contribute insightful perspectives to the discourse on international relations.

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