Syria: from ‘authoritarian upgrading’ to revolution? — Raymond Hinnebusch (11/01/2012) | International Affairs

A definitive and thorough examination of the many variables and foibles of economics. Basher al Assad, caught between the horns of a dilemma, had no real understanding of how to offset the forces aligned against him or how best to deflect the neo-liberals ascendancy aligned against his nascent reforming strategies. In some ways Dr. Assad was naive, twisting and bending in the wind and turning to all the wrong people in an effort to keep Syria afloat and deny the IMF/US and Imperialist Corporates, waiting in the wings, their opportunities. He failed abjectly. But Fiscal and economic stability is not for the uninitiated and if he is to get the country back on track he needs to ask those who can best advise him. Both Russia and China have had their problems in evolving and surviving the various assaults by the many privatization moguls and he needs to seek their advice. Syria’s close ties with Russia and the Chinese backing of Syria’s government, might enable him to find a way through this utter minefield he is trying to navigate, since it is already heavily reliant on credit from these two countries and Iran, the Syrian pound may be incorporated into the Renminbi and Ruble trading scheme.
From Bloomberg: Syria became the second Middle Eastern nation in two weeks, after Kuwait, to dump its currency’s peg to the U.S. dollar to curb rising import costs and inflation. The country will link the Syrian pound to International Monetary Fund special drawing rights instead from mid-July, central bank Governor Adib Mayaleh said. The value of the drawing rights is determined against a basket of currencies including the dollar, euro, yen and U.K. pound. Syria is broadening its peg after the country’s currency was dragged lower against the euro by a 10-per-cent slide in the dollar last year, pushing up the cost of imports from Europe”.

Taking Sides

[Norm’s note: since I had to, so to speak, transcribe this piece from .pdf, numbers (i.e., dates and page references and such) may appear as squares, kinda like this: “󰀲󰀰󰀰󰀴” . If you spot any of those things,  please alert me so that I may update the post with the correct information. Of course, if anything else appears amiss, let me know. I haven’t had much sleep in the past few days, so my editing is at this moment rather wanting. And an excellent piece of analysis, by the way. ]

Source: Raymond HinnebuschSyria: from ‘authoritarian upgrading’ to revolution?, International Affairs 88: 1, 2012.

Syria: from ‘authoritarian upgrading’ to revolution?

By Raymond Hinnebusch (11/01/2012)

When Bashar al-Asad assumed power in Syria in July 2000 there was much optimism about a young president with exposure to western education who, in his inaugural speech, emphasized his determination to modernize Syria…

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