By Lisa Wedeen

Treating rhetoric and logos as important instead of peripheral to politics, Lisa Wedeen’s groundbreaking publication bargains a compelling counterargument to people who insist that politics is essentially approximately fabric pursuits and the teams advocating for them. throughout the thirty-year rule of President Hafiz al-Asad’s regime, his picture was once all over. In newspapers, on tv, and through orchestrated spectacles. Asad used to be praised because the “father,” the “gallant knight,” even the country’s “premier pharmacist.” but so much Syrians, together with those that create the reputable rhetoric, didn't think its claims. Why might a regime spend scarce assets on a character cult whose content material is patently spurious?

Wedeen exhibits how such flagrantly fictitious claims have been capable of produce a politics of public dissimulation within which voters acted as though they respected the chief. by means of inundating everyday life with drained symbolism, the regime exercised a refined, but potent kind of strength. The cult labored to implement obedience, result in complicity, isolate Syrians from each other, and set guidance for public speech and behaviour. Wedeen‘s ethnographic study demonstrates how Syrians well-known the disciplinary points of the cult and sought to undermine them. In a brand new preface, Wedeen discusses the rebellion opposed to the Syrian regime that all started in 2011 and questions the usefulness of the concept that of legitimacy in attempting to research and comprehend authoritarian regimes.

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Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria by Lisa Wedeen

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