Practical Politics

Download Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols by Lisa Wedeen PDF

By Lisa Wedeen

Treating rhetoric and emblems as significant instead of peripheral to politics, Lisa Wedeen’s groundbreaking e-book deals a compelling counterargument to people who insist that politics is basically approximately fabric pursuits and the teams advocating for them. throughout the thirty-year rule of President Hafiz al-Asad’s regime, his snapshot used to be in every single place. In newspapers, on tv, and through orchestrated spectacles. Asad was once praised because the “father,” the “gallant knight,” even the country’s “premier pharmacist.” but such a lot Syrians, together with those that create the reputable rhetoric, didn't think its claims. Why may a regime spend scarce assets on a character cult whose content material is patently spurious?

Wedeen indicates how such flagrantly fictitious claims have been capable of produce a politics of public dissimulation during which electorate acted as though they respected the chief. via inundating everyday life with drained symbolism, the regime exercised a refined, but potent kind of strength. The cult labored to implement obedience, set off complicity, isolate Syrians from each other, and set directions for public speech and behaviour. Wedeen‘s ethnographic learn demonstrates how Syrians famous the disciplinary facets of the cult and sought to undermine them. In a brand new preface, Wedeen discusses the rebellion opposed to the Syrian regime that started in 2011 and questions the usefulness of the idea that of legitimacy in attempting to study and comprehend authoritarian regimes.

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