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Creating Consent in Ba‘thist Syria

Women and Welfare in a Totalitarian State

Creating Consent in Ba‘thist Syria by Esther Meininghaus
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The challenge of maintaining dictatorial regimes through control, co-optation andcoercion while upholding a façade of legitimacy is something that has concernedleaders throughout the Middle East and beyond. Nowhere is this more evidentthan in the Syria ruled by the Asads, both Hafiz and his son Bashar. Drawing onthe example of the General Union of Syrian Women (founded in 1967), EstherMeininghaus offers new insights into how the Syrian Ba?thist regimes attemptedto move beyond mere satisfaction with the compliance of the citizenry and toconsolidate their rule amongst the local population. Meininghaus argues that thiswas partially achieved through providing welfare services delivered by the Union asone of the state-led mass organisations. In this way, she suggests, these regimesdid not only aim to undermine opposition and to create the illusion of consent, butthey factually catered to local needs and depended on consent. Based on archivalmaterial, interviews and statistics, Creating Consent in Ba?thist Syria will shednew light on mass organisations as a crucial institution of Ba?thist state building,the construction of the Asad regimes more broadly, and the implications of thesefindings for the current war.
I.B.Tauris; March 2016
400 pages; ISBN 9780857729774
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Title: Creating Consent in Ba‘thist Syria
Author: Esther Meininghaus