The Politics of Economic Liberalization: Comparing Egypt and Syria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter compares the experiences of two once populist-etatist authoritarian republics which have subsequently taken somewhat different post-populist paths to economic liberalization: Egypt, a pioneer of liberalization and Syria, one of the states most resistant to it. This analysis applies chiefly to such initially authoritarian-populist regimes and will be of lesser relevance to other types of state. Economic liberalization in the Middle East has been governed by the post-populist evolution of the authoritarian-populist regimes which have dominated the region starting in the 1950s. These regimes, launched by military coups led by radical officers, initially aimed to consolidate power against the traditional upper class by co-opting middle and lower strata. The international system shapes the security imperatives to which all policy, including economic policy, is likely to be subordinated, as well as determining the options available to regimes when responding to economic pressures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe State and Global Change: the political economy of transition in the MIddle East and North Africa.
EditorsHassan Hakimian, Ziba Moshaver
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781003062400
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001


  • politics
  • economic liberalization
  • Egypt
  • Syria


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