By the 1980s the Syrian political structure was in most features quite close to the orthodox Baathist model of a party-state regime, with its virtually Leninist or Communist-style political structure (see Appendix II). The main deviation from orthodoxy was that the regime was headed by a military man and was actually a military-party regime. A 1970 coup had brought Defence Minister (General) Hafiz al-Asad to power, after years of factional squabbling within the Baathist regime that had been established after a 1963 military coup. The struggle for power in the 1960s between rival military-civilian alliances within the new Baathist regime had already led to an internal coup in 1966 that had brought a left-wing faction of Baath officers to power – establishing what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Neo-Baath regime’. But in 1970 a moderate member of the Neo-Baathists, the aforementioned General Asad, had staged what was to be the last act of instability within Syrian Baathist rule for more than 25 years.1
KeywordsForeign Exchange Economic Reform Trade Balance State Enterprise Reform Programme
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