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 JSS  Vol.7 No.11 , November 2019
Political Theory of Societal Association: Case of the Failed State of Syria, Part 1
Abstract: One of the major issues in studies of civilization has been whether “progress” is possible in the evolution of societies. In a previous paper, we defined a metric for measuring progress in civilization and illustrated how the international court for war crimes originated as an institutionalization of progress [1]. Yet in contrast, “regress” can occur in civilization. And in the early twenty-first century, “regress as a failed state” turned out to be an important issue. Global civilization is presently composed of many states defined by territories and interacting in international trade through global corporations. The puzzle is why, in this interconnected global society, are there failed states—regressions of civilization? We analyze the history of Syria, as a failed state in the 21st century. In this historical case, we can test the validity of the modern political theory of association, as to how and why such political regression occurs. Historical studies provide the empirical basis for grounding (verifying) social science theories, when theories are expressed in analytical frameworks that are generalized across different historical cases. In this research, we formalize some basic concepts of modern political science theory in a 3-dimensional typology—in order to analyze the dynamics of modern state or nation in formation or dissolution. This is the first paper (of four) analyzing the failure of the Syrian state. Four papers are required due to the complicated sequence of events in the history of Syria: 1) from territory in the Ottoman Empire into European colonial states, 2) to independent states, 3) to a near collapse under a terrorist caliphate, and 4) to refugee impacts on its former colonial occupiers.
Cite this paper: Betz, F. (2019) Political Theory of Societal Association: Case of the Failed State of Syria, Part 1. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7, 271-296. doi: 10.4236/jss.2019.711020.
References

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http://www.scirp.org/journal/jss

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[7]   Provence, M. (2017) The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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[8]   Rousseau, J.-J. and Cranston, M. (1968) The Social Contract. Penguin Books for Philosophy.

[9]   Milton-Edwards, B. (2018) Contemporary Politics in the Middle East. 4th Edition, Polity Press, Cambridge.

[10]   Flyvbjerg, B. (1998) Habermas and Foucault: Thinkers for Civil Society? British Journal of Sociology, 49, 210-233.
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[11]   Kaplan, R.D. (1993) Syria Identity Crisis. The Atlantic.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1993/02/syria-identity-crisis/303860


 
 
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