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well as among fascist parties and movements in countries where fascism has not been the ideology of the government, and the necessary differences in details of policy to be found among parties and movements which emphasise – different – nationalisms mean that it is difficult to form a generally accepted definition of fascism. It is unhelpful to apply the term indiscriminately to all radical right-wing or nationalist

in The politics today companion to West European Politics

special social composition – rural and plebeian – imparted a radical nationalist, populist thrust to the state, the residues of which continue to make a difference for Syria’s foreign policy orientation. The radicalisation of the Syrian army was partly a function of its predominately lower-middle-class and ex-peasant social composition. Recruitment under the French from the Alawi and Druze peasant minorities into the local military forces established a tradition of military service as a route out of poverty for them which continued after

in The international politics of the Middle East
Open Access (free)
The international system and the Middle East

-Arabism, combining a more radical and illiberal nationalism with demands for Arab unity and populist social reform, achieved ideological hegemony among both the new middle class and mobilising sections of the masses (Hourani 1970; Khadduri, 1970; Sharabi 1970). The fragility of upper-class-based regimes and the Arab nationalist mobilisation of the middle class against them ushered in two decades of political instability (1945–67) expressed by military coups and the rise of radical parties. The military overthrew monarchies and oligarchies across the region

in The international politics of the Middle East
Explaining foreign policy variation

Israeli threat and recruited from the middle-class and peasant youth, was a hotbed of populist dissent, radicalised by the conflict with Israel and Nasser’s anti-imperialism. The West’s backing of Israel inflamed the people against it and de-legitimised pro-Western politicians and the Western economic ties of the commercial oligarchy. This fuelled the rise of radical parties – notably the Ba’th Party – and the military coups and counter-coups that destabilised the state and gradually pushed the oligarchic elite from power (Seale 1965; Torrey 1964

in The international politics of the Middle East

‘domestic’ but still embedded in trans-state discourse, that states should act on behalf of the shared (Arab) community. This gap taints the legitimacy of regimes and encourages challenges to the regional order by sub- and trans-state movements and ‘terrorist’ networks. The separation between elites and society was sharply underlined by the 1994 Sharm al-Shaikh meeting of a concert of state leaders, both Arab and Israeli, who identified the main security threat as internal – from radical Islamic terror (Barnett 1996–97: 617). To a very considerable

in The international politics of the Middle East
Open Access (free)

came to span commercial TV, the printed media, publishing, advertising, insurance and financial services, retailing and football (through AC Milan football club). In 1993 he formed the populist, right-wing political movement FI and began a full-time political career in 1994, leading his party to win the general elections of that year in alliance with the separatist Northern League and far-right National Alliance. As Prime

in The politics today companion to West European Politics