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Title: The political economy of Syrian foreign policy 1949-1963
Author: Cati, Mehmet Osman
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This study examines Syria's foreign policy in the post-colonial period and presents Syria as a state that exhibited the basic characteristics of the states of the global South that came to independent statehood burdened with varying degrees of underdevelopment, vulnerability, dependence and permeability. It is contended that foreign policy in a country like Syria was bound to be preoccupied with the task of overcoming these debilitating conditions or making them manageable. A political economy approach in which socio-economic needs of the country are taken as a source of foreign policy and the acquisition of foreign economic resources as a major foreign policy objective is adopted as a point of departure in this study. While Syria is presented as part of the global South, it is recognised that Syria has a shared Arab identity with the other Arab states of the Middle East. Therefore this study also draws on Constructivist insights on the impact of shared-identities on state behaviour. Moreover, as it is recognised that policy makers have multiple objectives that may reinforce or undermine one another, two other major objectives are considered alongside mobilisation of resources for economic development. These are the goals of independence/autonomy and leadership maintenance/regime consolidation. This study contends that the interaction of these three objectives as a complex process that involves trade offs and changing priorities is worth pursuing because it provides fundamental insights into a polity's foreign policy and contributes to its understanding. This study also makes a case for and provides empirical evidence that reflects the interconnectedness of 'considerations of plenty' and 'considerations of power'; the overlapping of domestic politics and foreign policy; and the contextual nature of the separation of issues of 'high' and 'low' politics. With its emphasis on the quest for resources to foster economic development, this study makes a contribution to the study of foreign policy and enhances our understanding of the processes of state formation and regime consolidation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral