US Hard Power in the Arab World: Resistance, the Syrian Uprising and the War on Terror, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

US Hard Power in the Arab World

Resistance, the Syrian Uprising and the War on Terror, 1st Edition

By Layla Saleh


192 pages

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Neither stability nor change in the post-colonial Arab world can be fully understood without considering the international context, and American Foreign policy in particular. However, the exact nature of America’s presence in the Arab world, and the scope and modes of its influence, all appear to have reached a crossroads since the Arab uprisings.

‘US Hard Power in the Arab World’ traces the US’s "power of persuasion" in the Arab Middle East from the onset of the War on Terror in 2001 through to the Arab Spring. With a particular focus on Syria, the book explores the limits of an American "smart power" amid the emergence of a growing indigenous "soft power" whose ire is directed not only at Assad’s regime, but also at the violence perpetrated or enabled by the international community, headed by the US. It is argued that the blurring of the two forms of "soft" and "hard" American power has tarnished the credibility of US policies geared to win hearts and minds in the Arab world.

‘US Hard Power in the Arab World’ narrates the contests between attraction and intimidation, public diplomacy and military occupation, elites and publics, seduction and resistance. Drawing upon a multitude of primary sources, including personal interviews with Syrian activists and opposition figures, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Middle East Politics, as well as those concerned with American Foreign Policy and the Arab Spring.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Narrating a "Smart" US into the Arab World 2. Outside-in Arab Political Change 3. "Hardening" Soft Power: The State of Exception 4. War on Terror Tales 5. There and Back Again: Enter the Arab Spring 6. Soft Power in the Syrian Revolution Silmiyyah 7. Conclusion: The Thawrah in the World

About the Author

Layla Saleh is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Qatar University. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, America.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government

This series examines new ways of understanding democratization and government in the Middle East. The varied and uneven processes of change, occurring in the Middle Eastern region, can no longer be read and interpreted solely through the prism of Euro-American transitology. Seeking to frame critical parameters in light of these new horizons, this series instigates reinterpretations of democracy and propagates formerly ‘subaltern,’ narratives of democratization. Reinvigorating discussion on how Arab and Middle Eastern peoples and societies seek good government, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government provides tests and contests of old and new assumptions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies