Coup in Damascus

Syria and the birth of Arab military rule, 1949

By Carl Rihan

Coup in Damascus
Hardcover -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526151049
  • Publish Date: Apr 2025
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5104-9
    • Pages: 264
    • Price: £85.00
    • Published Date: April 2025


    Coup in Damascus is a history of Syria's first military regime. It plots the the fall of Syria's democracy and the rise of its military rulers, particularly Husni al-Zaim, whose brief rule in 1949 represented a profoundly transformative moment for the Syrian nation.

    It is a history of the thoughts, intentions and motives of political actors underpinning the events that have marked Syria's history after the first Arab-Israeli war, and focuses mainly on the interaction between local, regional and international actors. Unlike most histories of the modern Middle East that tackle broad intervals and that focus on the sequences of events, this history seeks to reconstruct the thought processes behind the events, and anchor them within the epoch's existing political and socioeconomic conditions. It draws on several methodological influences, particularly R.G. Collingwood's 'history as re-enactment of the past'.


    1 Central Bankers, Notables, and Peasants
    2 The Political Disaster of 1948
    3 The Jordanian Option
    4 The Wrongly Accused
    5 Diplomatic Landmine
    6 The New Dawn
    7 Officers and Bankers
    8 Containing Greater Syria
    9 The Birth of Rentierism
    10 First Cracks in the Junta
    11 Backlash
    12 The Polarization of Rural Politics
    13 Blurred Borders and Blurred Allegiances
    14 A New Deal
    15 The Collective Imaginary Denied
    16 An Unusual Sedition
    17 The Flood Gates are Open
    18 Conclusion


    Carl Rihan is an Associate and Visiting Fellow of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA, Hamburg). He acts as Research Associate to the Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), as well as Consultant at the Institut des Finances Basil Fuleihan, a Lebanese public sector agency and United Nations partner specialized in Economics and Public Financial Management. In the span of twelve years, Carl has served as programme coordinator and lead researcher at the Institut, and contributed to the early design of Agenda 2030 in the Middle East and North Africa region. He is a registered private consultant operating in Lille and teaches Business Management and Social Sciences at the Ecole Jeannine Manuel in Marcq-en-Baroeul, Lille. He also lectures on international security, public policy, and Middle East history at SciencesPo Lille. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. from SciencesPo Paris.

    Coup in Damascus

    By Carl Rihan

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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