- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: September 2018
- Print publication year: 2018
- Online ISBN: 9781139424721
Over much of its rule, the regime of Hafez al-Asad and his successor Bashar al-Asad deployed violence on a massive scale to maintain its grip on political power. In this book, Salwa Ismail examines the rationalities and mechanisms of governing through violence. In a detailed and compelling account, Ismail shows how the political prison and the massacre, in particular, developed as apparatuses of government, shaping Syrians' political subjectivities, defining their understanding of the terms of rule and structuring their relations and interactions with the regime and with one another. Examining ordinary citizens' everyday life experiences and memories of violence across diverse sites, from the internment camp and the massacre to the family and school, The Rule of Violence demonstrates how practices of violence, both in their routine and spectacular forms, fashioned Syrians' affective life, inciting in them feelings of humiliation and abjection, and infusing their lived environment with dread and horror. This form of rule is revealed to be constraining of citizens' political engagement, while also demanding of their action.
Charles Tripp - School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Marc Lynch - The George Washington University, and author of The New Arab Wars: Anarchy and Uprising in the Middle East
Michelle Obeid - University of Manchester
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