By examining the system of authoritarianism in eight Arab republics, Joseph Sassoon portrays life under these regimes and explores the mechanisms underpinning their resilience. How did the leadership in these countries create such enduring systems? What was the economic system that prolonged the regimes' longevity, but simultaneously led to their collapse? Why did these seemingly stable regimes begin to falter? This book seeks to answer these questions by utilizing the Iraqi archives and memoirs of those who were embedded in these republics: political leaders, ministers, generals, security agency chiefs, party members, and business people. Taking a thematic approach, the book begins in 1952 with the Egyptian Revolution and ends with the Arab uprisings of 2011. It seeks to deepen our understanding of the authoritarianism and coercive systems that prevailed in these countries and the difficult process of transition from authoritarianism that began after 2011.
Joseph Sassoon is an Associate Professor and Al-Sabah Chair in Politics and Political Economy of the Arab World at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He has published extensively on the Middle East. His recent publications include Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime (Cambridge, 2012) and The Iraqi Refugees: The New Crisis in the Middle East (2009).
Introduction; 1. Political memoirs in the Arab republics; 2. Party and governance; 3. The military; 4. The role of security services in the Arab republics; 5. Economy and finance; 6. Leadership and the cult of personality; 7. Transition from authoritarianism; Conclusion.