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The Foreign Policies of Arab StatesThe Challenge of Globalization$
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Bahgat Korany and Ali E. Hillal Dessouki

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163609

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163609.001.0001

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The Challenge of Restructuring: Syrian Foreign Policy

The Challenge of Restructuring: Syrian Foreign Policy

Chapter:
(p.421) 12 The Challenge of Restructuring: Syrian Foreign Policy
Source:
The Foreign Policies of Arab States
Author(s):

Bahgat Korany

Ali E. Hillal Dessouki

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774163609.003.0013

This chapter emphasizes the interplay between three conjunctural structures: the state, the regional setting, and the international system. Structuralism perceives international relations as the sum of systematic interactions within and around the main behavioral unit in international relations, that is, the state. The discussion holds that Syrian foreign policy is currently marked by considerable rigidity and that it is thus incapable of responding to the rapid and far-reaching transformation in its external environment with comprehensive restructuring comparable to other Arab states. There are three possible explanations for this rigidity in Syria's international behavior. One relates to the cognitive factors influencing the regime; another attributes the apparent inflexibility to a wait-and-see policy; and the third explanation argues that Syria's foreign policy stagnation is propelled by a domestic crisis of legitimacy.

Keywords:   Syria, structuralism, Arab states, foreign policy stagnation, sectarianism

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