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Syria’s Economy and the Transition Paradigm

Samer Abboud and Ferdinand Arslanian
Syria’s Economy and the Transition Paradigm
ISBN: 978-0-9559687-0-9
2008/78 pages
St Andrews Papers on Contemporary Syria
Distributed for the University of St Andrews Centre for Syrian Studies


Exploring the recent trajectory of Syria's economy, the authors consider the utility of the transition paradigm—developed to study change in the former communist states—as an explanatory approach.

In the first part of the book, Samer Abboud examines Syria's shift to a "social market economy," focusing on similarities in and differences between the Syrian and Chinese cases. In the second part, Ferdinand Arslanian compares empirical indicators for Syria with those from the aggregate of transition countries to predict Syria's economic performance and the rate of liberalization. A foreword by Raymond Hinnebusch provides context for the study.


Samer Abboud is assistant professor of political science at Susquehanna University. Ferdinand Arslanian is an economist and project consultant with the German Technical Cooperation Agency in Damascus.


  • Foreword—R. Hinnebusch.
  • The Transition Paradigm and the Case of Syria—S. Abboud.
  • Growth in Transition and Syria’s Economic Performance—F. Arslanian.