The explanation which will be presented in this chapter as a prima facie plausible explanation for the eight dictatorships’ defiant stability is based upon another ‘defiant’ feature that these regimes displayed in 1980–94. During this period each of them was for a substantial time publicly defying an external foe, whether an actual military enemy or only a political foe. Iraq was fighting a major war with Iran in 1980–88 and then the short war against the US-led coalition was followed by an era of rhetorically defiant defeat. Iran was of course fighting the same war in 1980–88 and was continuously engaged in rhetorical defiance of the US – the ‘Great Satan’. Syria continued to be preoccupied with a cease-fired war of liberation to recover the territory conquered by Israel in the 1967 war, and was bogged down in a military intervention in Lebanon that led to military clashes in the early 1980s with not only Israel but also the US. Libya faced political and economic pressure from the US (which occasionally escalated into military clashes) throughout the 1980s, and in the 1990s also defied United Nations’ demands, backed up by sanctions, that it hand over Libyans suspected of complicity in the Lockerbie bombing.
KeywordsKhmer Rouge Diplomatic Relation Peaceful Evolution Spratly Island North Korean Regime
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