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School of Politics and International Relations

Why some Middle East autocrats are harder to oust than others


The political futures of both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have recently been the subject of speculation, according to Dr Christopher Phillips from Queen Mary University of London, in this opinion piece for Middle East Eye. For Assad, a dispute with his wealthy cousin amid grumblings from his ally, Russia, has prompted some to wonder whether his bloody reign may soon end. For Erdogan, the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis and associated economic uncertainty has led to murmurs about his potential departure. Yet both rule over regimes that make it difficult for rivals - from either within the ruling establishment or without - to overthrow them. Dr Phillips explores the measures both nations have taken to prevent being overthrown, from 'coup-proofing' to parallel security structures. 

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