Civil War Repression

Political Violence Thought of the Week

By Erica Chenoweth

“Practically, this process is positive.”

~ Bashar al Assad, commenting on recent defections, as quoted in Hassan Hassan’s article “Assad’s Massacre Strategy”.

Apparently, Assad would prefer a “a small, committed core of officials committed to crushing the revolt than a broader regime infiltrated by traitors,” as Hassan puts it. Although many conflict scholars view defections as a sign of regime weakness, Assad may see it as a process of voluntary purging, thus strengthening the regime. More will be revealed as to whether Assad is right.

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