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Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria
by Lisa Wedeen
In Syria, the image of President Hafiz al-Asad is everywhere. In newspapers, on television, and during orchestrated spectacles Asad is praised as the "father," the "gallant knight," even the country's "premier pharmacist." Yet most Syrians, including those who create the official rhetoric, do not believe its claims. Why would a regime spend scarce resources on a cult whose ...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published June 15th 1999 by University Of Chicago Press
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الكتاب ليس سردا تاريخيا (وان كان يستعين بذكر بعض الحوادث التي تساعد في ايصال الفكرة) ، هو دراسة أكاديمية و تفكيك لطرق سيطرة النظام السوري عبر التحكم بالخطاب و لما لظاهرة تقديس الأسد من دور في هذه السيطرة (الناعمة) .. الترجمة لم تعجبني كثيرا
Fascinating read. I read this for a course on professional historical study as well as for a class on Modern Syria; both courses had more than enough to talk about and on totally different subjects, for the entire 3 hour seminar. Applicable to many different settings, and a very engaging read which is high praise for an academic work.
Super cool topic, pretty difficult read. Still, if you stick with it, it's really rewarding. If you find the personality cults of Asad, Saddam, Khomeini, etc. intriguing and wonder why and under what circumstances people participate in them, this is the book for you! Her discussions about comics and jokes are especially fun.
"This book argues that Asad's cult is a strategy of domination based on compliance rather than legitimacy. The regime produces compliance through enforced participation in rituals of obeisance that are transparently phony both to those who orchestrate them and to those who consume them. Asad's cult operates as a disciplinary device, generating a politics of public dissimulation in which citizens act as if they revere the leader. A politics of 'as if' while it may appear irrational or foolish at ...more
A very interesting look at the cult of Hafiz al Assad in Syria during the 1990s. Calls up interesting questions about state control, censorship, and dissidence. One has to ask what keeps the Syrian populace, who, by Wedeen's argument are almost universally opposed to Assad, in check? Somehow the system of control exerted by the party has become a self-perpetuating system. Particularly liked Wedeen's look at humor, satire and parody to illustrate oppositional sentiment.Ultimately she doesn't sati ...more
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“من الممكن فهم كيف يوظف نظام سلطوي لا يتمتع بالكاريزما الرموز والبلاغة لإنتاج السلطة السياسية بما يساهم في استمراريته. وحقيقة أن الأسد بقي في الحكم منذ عام 1970 دليل على فاعلية هذه الاستراتيجية .”
“لقد توصل الباحثين إلى أن الاستعانة بالرموز التي لها قيمة ثقافية وتاريخية لمجتمع ما, يمكن أن تساعد في زيادة "شرعية" نظام محدد. وإذا كانوا يعنون "بالشرعية" شعبية النظام أو كونه الأكثر ملائمة, فهم يقولون بأن النظام يحاول أن يرتبط بعقول الشعب من خلال رموز ثقافية لها أصداؤها, كما انها تحمل معاني شعورية بطريقة مفضلة للمواطنين.”More quotes…