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Title: Building an authoritarian state : the influence of external security and fiscal environment on Syrian authoritarianism
Author: Huuhtanen, Heidi Katriina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3585 5533
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2008
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In this research I have attempted to answer the question of how the external security and fiscal environment has affected Syrian authoritarianism. Contrary to much previous research that emphasizes domestic factors in leading to a lack of democracy, my hypothesis was that the external level indeed created means for enhancing the authoritarian structures of the state. I studied to which extent war preparation and external resource extraction can be held accountable for changes, especially in the coercive, fiscal and institutional capabilities of the state, and how they influence state power and the autonomy, efficiency and legitimacy of the state. I demonstrate that durir Syria could afford its large war preparation effort by ex extraction without a need to resort to domestic resource extraction that would have demanded political bargaining and increased political participation. In addition, war preparation assisted in the creation of coercive powers of a security state and the institutional powers of an authoritarian state, the rule of the president, army and the party instead of political institutions. After the Cold War, the external revenues and the fiscal powers of the state actually increased and costs of war preparation decreased, which assisted in maintaining the power structures and in adapting to the new world order without any significant changes domestically. The results of this study from the year 2000 onwards finally show just how vulnerable state power was to the changes in the external environment. Since 2000, external revenues have been at their highest. However, fear of a rapid exhaustion of external revenues, mainly fuel export income, led to a fear of a decline in the fiscal capabilities of the state. This forced the state to adopt a domestic resource extraction campaign by economic liberalization. This turn in economic policies contributed then again to an intra-elite conflict, which weakened the institutional powers of the state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: JISC Digital Islam
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available