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Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics
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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.


'Authoritarian regimes in the Arab world have been [extensively] analyzed individually and sometimes as a group. Joseph Sassoon pursues a new way to approach studying them. He does not offer a new theoretical or analytical approach but instead explores them through a new (or rarely used) source: personal memoirs. Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics takes a very inductive approach: he reads the memoirs of those who participated in (and sometimes were victims of) authoritarianism in the Arab republics and explores some commonalities that he finds … Sassoon’s contribution here is not to highlight their importance but to observe their similarity…'

Nathan J. Brown Source: The Middle East Journal

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