In Search of Greater Syria: The History and Politics of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party by Christopher Soloman
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) is one of the most enigmatic and active political forces in the Middle East. For observers in the West, the SSNP is regarded as a far-right organization, subservient to the Baathist government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which dictates its activities from Damascus. However, the SSNP's complicated history and its ideology of Pan-Syrianism has meant the party has been overlooked and forgotten by the daily output of news, analysis, studies and policy recommendations. Very little academic scholarship has been dedicated to understanding its origins, identity, and influence.
Addressing the need for scholarship on the SSNP, this book is a political history from the party's foundation in 1932 to today. A comprehensive and objective study on the little known nationalist group, the author uses interviews from current members to gain insights into its everyday activities, goals, social interstices and nuances. Given the SSNP's history of violence, their own persecution, influence on other secular parties in the region, and their impact in Syria and Lebanon's politics, the book's analysis sheds light on the party's status in Lebanon and its potential role in a future post-war Syria. The SSNP is gaining popularity among regime supporters in Syria and will be one part of understanding the political developments on the ground. This book is essential reading for those wanting to understand the SSNP, its motives, and prospects.