Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Minxin Pei

Rights Information

© 2017 Alisha Malika Dhalla


The Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party was established in Syria during the mid-twentieth century, originally championing Arab unity and freedom from foreign influence. The party eventually managed to rise to power in Syria and Iraq, thereby concluding the widespread political instability that had previously plagued both countries. In each of these contexts, autocratic leaders emerged at the forefront of the ruling regimes and manipulated the party to bolster their rule for over three decades. This paper examines the Ba’ath party’s history and ideology to understand the party’s source of strength. It also discusses the party’s role in achieving power as well as the different functions it undertook in Syria and Iraq once autocratic rule was established. Finally, it studies the fall of both regimes and the status of the Ba’ath party today.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.