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Middle East AuthoritarianismsGovernance, Contestation, and Regime Resilience in Syria and Iran$
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Steven Heydemann and Reinoud Leenders

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783019

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783019.001.0001

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Prosecuting Political Dissent

Prosecuting Political Dissent

Courts and the Resilience of Authoritarianism in Syria

(p.169) 8 Prosecuting Political Dissent
Middle East Authoritarianisms

Reinoud Leenders

Stanford University Press

This chapter evaluates the use of technologies of power in Syria since the Ba'th coup in 1963 until the uprising that started in March 2011 with regards to its judicial system. The legal profession of Syria has found itself on the losing side in the country's changing political and economic landscape since 1963. The growing degree of modest judicialized repression in Syria seemed to counter the perilous fallout of depending on direct violence and warlike measures. From the perspective of the Ba'thist ruling elite, law professionals were to be dealt with with utmost precaution because of their link with the ancien régime and their traditional socioeconomic outlook. The importance of the judicialization of repression in Syria should characterize Steven Heydemann's general propositions. The judiciary in Syria significantly played in coercion and repression, but it does not control the means of violence that could be directed against the regime itself.

Keywords:   Syria, Ba'th coup, judicial system, legal profession, Ba'thist ruling elite, violence, warlike, judicialization, coercion, repression

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