Bureaucracy and Development in Syria: The Case of Agriculture

Raymond A. Hinnebusch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the Syrian bureaucracy through a case study of its role in agricultural development. It analyses the degree of technocratic rationality imparted to agrarian policy, the effectiveness of the bureaucracy in carrying out agricultural policy, the beneficial role of the bureaucracy for the agrarian economy and the peasantry, and the political consequences of the Syrian bureaucracy�s role in agriculture. It also indicates that while senior public officials play a role in shaping agrarian policy, this role is in turn shaped by Ba�thist ideology and a political structure that vests control over high policy in the Presidency and the ruling party and not in the ministerial bureaucracy. This arrangement influences agricultural planning, administrative leadership, and patronage politics. This paper concludes that despite the flaws that afflict the agrarian apparatus, the Syrian bureaucracy has put in place development programs of great benefit to agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989


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