Greater than a decade after the primary sprouts of the Arab Spring began to blossom in December 2010, a lot has modified within the Arab world. Enduring the rise and fall of ISIS, witnessing insurgency and civil struggle in Iraq, Yemen, and Libya, experiencing a disaster, coup, and unrest in Egypt, in addition to bearing the continuing battle in Syria has formed and worn out societies from the Maghreb to the Mashriq because it has formed many city centres everywhere in the area: a crumbling, devastated setting, typically on the verge of decay. When Western media shops overview the occasions of the Arab Spring at the moment, they typically illustrate the political and societal adjustments throughout that point by recapitulating the private fates of assorted leaders that misplaced their workplace throughout this episode (see Al-Jazeera, 2017; Holmes, 2020). However whereas Gaddafi’s demise or Ben Ali’s ousting function apt examples for political teams, leaders, and actions that have been swept away through the preliminary uprisings or all through the next occasions, even after a decade of battle and greater than 600.000 deaths, reign over Syria stays firmly within the palms of Bashar Al-Assad.

By analysing Assad’s management fashion via a quantitative evaluation of assorted persona traits, this paper endeavours to provide insights into the capabilities, behaviour, and character options that enable a frontrunner to protect energy even below probably the most antagonistic circumstances. After briefly reviewing the state and growth of the prevailing literature and narratives within the subject, we are going to elaborate on the methodology employed for this paper. Afterwards, an intensive evaluation is performed and the quantitative outcomes are critically assessed, mentioned, and in comparison with evaluations of Assad by different authors. Lastly, we conclude that Assad, relying on the context, may be categorised as having both a reactive or accommodative management fashion — evaluating his prospects in a given scenario and contemplating what vital actors will favour or enable, he focuses on constructing consensus in his setting, empowering others, sharing accountability, and reconciling variations between teams or those that he depends on.

Literature Evaluation

Shortly after the revolt in Syria commenced and violent clashes occurred everywhere in the nation, Western students already began to suggest plans and situations for a “post-Assad Syria” (Serwer, 2012; see additionally Dalton, 2012). When the battle’s trajectory began to stagnate, discourse in media and educational circles nonetheless revolved round regime change, a attainable invasion, and worldwide assist for the opposition (cf. Donker & Janssen, 2011; Fontaine, 2013; Herr et al., 2019; for a complete overview of the battle see Bawey, 2016, van Dam, 2017, Helberg, 2018, and Phillips, 2020; for early assessments see Armbruster, 2013, Schneiders, 2013, and Jenkins, 2014). By the top of 2021, nevertheless, the headlines and proposals about Syria have modified. Amongst many Western voices, resignation may be broadly noticed – some even converse of a geopolitical “[d]efeat for the US [and a] win for its foes” (O’Connor, 2021; see additionally Hubbard, 2021). However opposite to Arab nations “which have concluded he received the brutal civil struggle” (Al Arabiya, 2021), the U.S. declines to normalise its relationship with Assad and a few students even demand a renewed, decided strategy to counter and finally topple the regime (Pamuk, 2021; Lister, 2021).  

Figuring out why Assad — in contrast to lots of his fellow leaders within the area — stays in energy has occupied the thought and work of assorted students already through the sizzling section of the battle. Stacher (2012), in addition to Financial institution & Edel (2015), attributed Assad’s cling to energy to his functionality for adaptation and alter — “regime studying” that alleviates societal stress, permits for concessions and binds decisive teams to the federal government. Heydemann & Leenders (2013) in addition to Sika (2015) took a comparative strategy and in contrast the case of Syria to Iran and Egypt, respectively. They ascribe Assad’s preservation of energy to particular options of “Center East authoritarianism” (Heydemann & Leenders, 2013) and variations between the 2 states of their respective state-formation course of and structure of the state-coercive equipment (Sika, 2015). Sika (2015) additional connects the completely different paths of Egypt and Syria to the various geostrategic pursuits in the direction of these states of worldwide actors such because the EU, U.S., and regional powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Already years earlier than the rebellion in Syria started, educational work particularly tailor-made round Bashar Al-Assad has been put ahead and now serves as a wealthy reference for comparability with later assessments. Most notably delivered by Leverett (2005), Zisser (2007), and Bar (2006), these early portrayals nonetheless entail the scent of change, reform, and progress promised by Assad throughout his first years in energy. In 2009, Büchs examined the resilience of Bashar and his father Hafez Al-Assad’s rule in Syria, arguing that an efficient however unstable “tacit pact” between varied unequal factions within the Syrian society upheld the rule of the Al-Assads since 1970 — nonetheless, this pact wouldn’t outlast Büchs’ paper for very lengthy. Van Dam (2011) printed additional work about Assad’s rule through the early developments of the Arab Spring, however since Assad and the civil struggle nonetheless prevail a decade later, these assessments don’t maintain up at the moment. A 2014 (second version in 2016) publication by Bawey makes use of the inextricable hyperlink between Assad and the beginning, growth, and tentative end result of the battle as an example the occasions in Syria. Whereas Bawey produces a well-written evaluation of the battle, it lacks a sure depth in terms of figuring out the decisive private options that stored Assad in energy. Essentially the most thorough, complete, and for this paper definitely most related in-depth evaluation is offered by Cabayan & Wright (2014a, 2014b), who used 124 speeches of the Syrian chief given between 2000 and 2013 to analyse the character and conduct of Assad and suggest coverage behaviour in the direction of Syria based mostly on these assessments. Among the many varied strategies employed within the research of Cabayan & Wright, Spitaletta (2014), because the authors of this paper, performed a management trait evaluation of Assad. Spitaletta’s outcomes, whereas congruent with many findings of this paper, are based mostly solely on speeches by Assad. As mentioned extra in-depth later, since they’re deliberate, choreographed acts, speeches don’t present the identical diploma of authenticity as freely performed interviews and due to this fact don’t enable for a similar stage of analytic high quality when assessing management fashion. Moreover, Spitaletta’s evaluation doesn’t cowl Assad’s behaviour and private response to occasions and developments after 2013. Thus, this paper offers a much-needed addition to the prevailing literature.


To attract conclusions about Bashar Al-Assad’s management fashion, this paper conducts a management trait evaluation as developed by Hermann (1985; 2002) and Levine & Younger (2014). For step one of a management trait evaluation, spoken phrases from a political chief’s statements, feedback, and remarks are analysed in accordance with seven persona traits. To additional decide if the persona trait scores of the analysed chief are comparably low, reasonable, or excessive, every rating is in comparison with a databank of 87 heads of state and 122 political leaders. From this evaluation, the chief’s responsiveness to constraints, openness to data, and motivation are deducted and, lastly, the management fashion is set (see Hermann, 2002, p. 9).

Though most leaders are being ready for attainable questions and corresponding solutions previous to media contact, press interviews can nonetheless be thought of fairly spontaneous as a result of the interviewee provides up management and should reply promptly, with out time for additional session or exterior support (Hermann, 2002, p. 2). Subsequently, the content material and wording of ad-hoc responses enable conclusions to be drawn about what leaders are like, how they understand themselves and others, and the way they react to extrinsic elements (Hermann, 2002). Public speeches, alternatively, are sometimes written by employed workers, revised and amended by advisors and consultants, in addition to studied and rehearsed by the chief beforehand. Hermann (1977), due to this fact, argues that speeches can’t be thought of the outflow of a political chief’s persona and character, however fairly a cautiously calculated and managed political routine (for an intensive comparability between the standard of interviews and speeches see additionally Hermann, 1980; Winter et al., 1991).

Accordingly, this evaluation makes use of solely brazenly performed press interviews as its foundation. Whereas Hermann (2002) assesses that “50 interview responses of 100 phrases or extra in size” (p. 2) can be required to correctly assess a management fashion, the authors of this evaluation have used 225 interview responses of greater than fifty phrases in size, derived from the transcripts of seven interviews with Bashar Al-Assad. The interviews have been performed between 2005 and 2017 and comprise 25.386 phrases (longest response = 317 phrases, shortest response = 52 phrases, common response size = 112 phrases). After the transcripts have been totally combed via, the responses have been separated from the questions, transformed, and analysed by the Profiler Plus software program developed and offered by Younger & Levine (2014). Within the performed management trait evaluation, the frequency of particular phrases and phrases is taken into account an indicator of the diploma to which a sure trait is inherent within the persona of a frontrunner (Hermann, 2002, p. 11).

Hermann (2002, p. 3) argues that the analysed interview responses ought to cowl varied matters, completely different interview settings, and the chief’s entire time period of workplace, thereby offering a basic description and stopping the outcomes from being too slender and context-specific. The chosen interviews cowl 12 years and have been performed earlier than, throughout, and after the Arab Spring. Moreover, they cope with varied matters from the U.S. invasion of Iraq (CNN, 2005), Assad’s private life (ABC, 2011), the protests through the Arab Spring (ABC, 2011; CBS, 2013) to the continuing civil struggle in Syria (ABC, 2011; CBS, 2013; AFP, 2016; AP, 2016; AFP, 2017; Yahoo, 2017). As a result of all interviews have been performed by Western journalists for Western information and broadcasting corporations, this evaluation isn’t in a position to present a broad scope of audiences coated by the interview responses and its outcomes have to be thought of accordingly. It may be assumed that Assad is extra calculating, extra thoughtful, and, most significantly, extra managed when talking to Western media than he can be when talking with a Syrian, regime-friendly newspaper. Already in 2006, Bar attested to Assad the power to fluctuate his conduct between Western and home audiences. Whereas he tried to realize sympathy from exterior actors in his “Dr Bashar” position and “convey the impressions that he’s not a dictator” (Bar, 2006, p. 369), Assad portrayed a pointy distinction when being in touch with Syrians as “Mr President”. Nonetheless, as a result of the interviews have been performed brazenly, query by query, and in some circumstances additionally over longer durations, they are often thought to be the richest supply of insights into Assad’s pondering that’s accessible to teachers outdoors the Syrian regime constructions.


In response to Hermann (2002, p. 5), management fashion describes how leaders relate to their environment, which rules, guidelines, and norms they adhere to, in addition to the way in which they conduct interactions with different leaders, advisors, elite teams, and their constituents. Within the following, we are going to decide Bashar Al-Assad’s management fashion by assessing how he reacts to constraints, how open he’s to incoming data, and what his motives are for in search of workplace and remaining in energy.

Responsiveness to Constraints

To guage if he fairly challenges or respects constraints, we are going to first analyse Assad’s perception in his capability to manage occasions in addition to his want for energy. The assumption to have the ability to management occasions represents the diploma to which leaders understand that they possess a sure management over the occasions and conditions that encompass them and assume to have the ability to affect such issues (Hermann, 2002, pp. 13-14). When figuring out leaders’ notion of their capability to manage occasions, it’s evaluated how typically throughout an interview the duty for planning or executing an motion is taken over by the chief or a gaggle they determine with by assessing the frequency of motion phrases and verbs that sign such behaviour (Hermann, 2002, p. 14). With a mean of 55 inner management observations and 72 exterior management observations per interview, Bashar Al-Assad scores a mean of 0.43 for the assumption in his capability to manage occasions (see Appendix A). In comparison with the databank of 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.44) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.45), Assad’s rating ranges barely beneath the final imply (see Appendix B). It may be noticed that he depicted the best stage of perception to have the ability to management occasions (0.47) in 2017 in his interview with AFP and the bottom stage (0.39) in 2016 in one other interview with AFP (for variations in answering behaviour see Appendix C). In response to Hermann (2002, p. 15), leaders who wouldn’t have a robust perception that they will management occasions are fairly reactive, reluctant to behave first, and sometimes much less prone to take over the initiative.

Already in 2005, Leverett factors out Assad’s consciousness of constraints on his energy and functionality to form occasions in Syria. He argues that Assad “sees himself as constrained (…) and brazenly acknowledges his want for exterior assist to enhance (…) implementation of reform initiatives and insurance policies“ (Leverett, 2005, p. 82). Leverett (2005) additional emphasises Assad’s “self-acknowledged constraints“ (p. 98) and that he recognises deficiencies in his capability to attain coverage objectives attributable to limitations within the system of governance and energy constructions of Syrian companies and ministries. This perspective is supported by Jenkins (2014), who argues that Assad was conscious of his lack of management over international volunteers, regime-friendly militias, and Hezbollah fighters. In Spitaletta’s (2014) management trait evaluation of Assad, the Syrian chief scores 0.42 for his perception to have the ability to management occasions. Diverging solely 0.01 from our consequence, Spitaletta (2014) concludes that Assad is “unlikely to be overly proactive or reactive in policy-making” (p. 73).

The necessity for energy and affect indicators a frontrunner’s willpower to ascertain, preserve, or restore the facility wanted to safe that very management place — or, as Winter (1973) places it, to have “management of the technique of affect” (p. 57) and affect the motion and volition of people or teams. When coding an interview for a frontrunner’s want for energy, the frequency of verbs is set which sign {that a} chief proposes forceful motion, engages in arguments, accusations, threats, unsolicited recommendation, worries about their place or fame, or tries to actively management the behaviour of others (Hermann, 2002, p. 15). With a imply of 32 excessive want for energy observations and 90 low want for energy observations per interview, Assad scores a mean of 0.28 in terms of his want for energy (see Appendix A). In comparison with the 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.5) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.5), his rating is taken into account low (< 0.37) (see Appendix B). It may be noticed that he depicted the best stage of want for energy (0.34) in 2017 in his interview with AFP and the bottom stage (0.22) in 2011 with ABC (see Appendix C). Hermann (2002) assesses that leaders and not using a excessive want for energy “have much less should be in cost; they are often one amongst a number of who’ve affect” (p. 17) and sometimes develop into brokers for his or her group, advocating for and representing their positions in policy-making.

Our result’s congruent with the literature and supported by varied authors through the years. In 2004, Wieland quoted Syrian actors who known as Assad a „junior companion” (p. 56) within the Syrian energy construction in addition to a “prisoner of his energy clique” (p. 103). Bar (2006) extends these claims, arguing that the stays of his father’s regime – the “previous guard” – nonetheless constituted the primary coverage driver on the time and no particular insurance policies may very well be attributed “to Bashar alone or to his overruling of others“ (p. 369). Whereas Bar (2006, p. 374) acknowledges that the survival of his regime is the highest precedence for Assad, he argues that Assad doesn’t insist on pursuing this goal solely on his phrases however as an alternative delegates authority, and consults consultants on varied issues, and barely takes choices alone. Phillips (2020) noticed this tendency additionally through the peak of the protests and civil struggle, throughout which “Assad didn’t need to get his palms soiled [and] delegated authority for the crackdown” (p. 14) to army and intelligence leaders. Though the presence and affect of the “previous guard” through the early years of the Assad reign isn’t contested, varied authors describe that over time, Assad tried to rid his authorities of those influences, eliminated lots of the former key actors, and expanded his vary of energy (Bar, 2006, p. 374;  Zisser, 2007, p. 64; extensively in Ziadeh, 2011; Van Dam, 2017). The decentralised distribution of energy within the Syrian state equipment and the ensuing necessity for Assad to share affect and energy amongst varied actors is additional described by Van Dam (2017, p. 105), who regards a handful of army leaders from varied branches of the military as crucial contestants for Assad’s declare to energy (see additionally Stacher, 2012; Scheller, 2014, p. 45). Borshchevskaya (2022, p. 154) additionally regards Russian president Putin to be a significant affect and competitor to Assad’s capability to wield energy on his personal, claiming that Syria’s dependence on Russian monetary and army support provides Putin vital leverage over decision-making in Damascus. Helberg (2018) additional helps these assessments by arguing that Assad, opposite to his father, lacks an “extraordinary intuition for energy” (p. 16). Spitaletta’s (2014) evaluation of Assad’s want for energy (0.29) is once more coherent with our consequence and he concludes that Assad “has much less of a should be in cost and could also be extra amenable to subordinates assuming extra outstanding roles” (p. 75).

Since Assad believes that he can management occasions solely to a lower than common diploma and depicts a low want for energy, he will probably be thought of low on each traits. Hermann (2002, p. 13) argues that somebody low on each traits respects constraints, works inside these in the direction of their objectives, and holds consensus and compromise in excessive regard.

Openness to Contextual Data

To find out Assad’s openness to exterior enter within the decision-making course of, his stage of self-confidence and conceptual complexity is assessed. Self-confidence as a persona trait signifies a frontrunner’s sense of self-importance and in the event that they understand themselves to have the ability to correctly cope with people and objects of their environment (Hermann, 2002, p. 20). The main focus through the coding for self-confidence lies on the connection of a frontrunner’s private pronouns to the engagement in an exercise, the proclamation of authority, or the reception of optimistic responses from outdoors teams (Hermann, 2002, p. 21). Averaging 19 excessive self-confidence observations and 38 low self-confidence observations per interview, Bashar Al-Assad scores a mean of 0.37 for his self-confidence (see Appendix A). In comparison with the databank of 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.62) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.57), Assad’s rating of 0.37 ranges low among the many heads of state (< 0.44) and solely barely above a low classification among the many political leaders (< 0.36) (see Appendix B). He depicted the best stage of self-confidence (0.56) in 2017 in his interview with AFP and the bottom stage (0.27) in 2017 with Yahoo (see Appendix C). Hermann (2002, p. 21) states that leaders with low self-confidence are usually extremely influenced by altering circumstances and shifts of opinion of their setting. As a result of they’re uncertain in regards to the paths to pursue, these leaders search suggestions, data, and opinions from others and have a tendency to behave inconsistently — relying on the setting, viewers, and environment (Hermann, 2002, p. 22).

Our evaluation of Assad’s self-confidence is supported by a constant and uniform picture of the chief, conveyed via varied sources between 2004 and 2020. Assad is portrayed as a frontrunner who “is aware of about his weaknesses“ (Wieland, 2004, p. 92), “is aware of his management deficiencies“ (Bar, 2006, p. 370), lacks “the picture of a charismatic, succesful chief“ (Zisser, 2007, p. 29), has an “apparent absence of expertise and self-confidence“ (Zisser, 2007, p. 43; additionally Bar, 2006, p. 377), and, in accordance with an account by former U.S. ambassador Robert S. Ford, Assad has “such a weak persona” (Phillips, 2020, p. 18). Ensuing of this lack of self-confidence, Assad relied on others for steerage and recommendation from early on. Beginning with the “previous guard”, adopted by new advisors and technocrats of his personal selecting, and now Syrian army leaders in addition to Russia and Iran — Assad stays in want of others. With a rating of 0.27, Spitaletta’s (2014) evaluation yields a fair decrease analysis of Assad’s self-confidence than our paper does. Nonetheless, each management analyses of Assad correspond with the constant image depicted of the chief within the pertinent literature.

Conceptual complexity describes the extent of differentiation {that a} chief is ready to make use of when considering “different folks, locations, insurance policies, concepts, or issues” (Hermann, 2002, p. 22). To find out the extent of conceptual complexity, particular phrases are coded that point out a frontrunner’s capability to detect a number of dimensions of a single affair (for examples see Hermann, 2002, p. 22; for an exhaustive listing see Levine & Younger, 2014). By averaging 170 excessive complexity observations and 117 low complexity observations per interview, Assad scores a mean of 0.59 for contextual complexity (see Appendix A). In comparison with the databank of 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.44) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.45), Assad’s rating of 0.59 ranges excessive amongst each pattern teams (> 0.56 and > 0.58 respectively) (see Appendix B). He confirmed the best stage of contextual complexity (0.65) in 2016 in his interview with AP and the bottom stage (0.5) in 2017 with Yahoo (see Appendix C). Leaders that categorical a excessive diploma of contextual complexity absorb a wider scope of arguments and are succesful to see points from varied views (Hermann, 2002, p. 23). Hermann (2002, p. 23) additionally argues that these leaders typically take their time within the decision-making course of to have the ability to think about eventual outcomes and attainable options – they have a tendency to not belief preliminary responses however fairly attempt to preserve flexibility and be ready for brand spanking new insights.

The related literature helps such an analysis and describes Assad as somebody who doesn’t take choices “impulsively or with out cautious evaluation, calculation, and preparation for the long-range implications“ (Bar, 2006, p. 367) and has an “inclination towards an analytical, rational and methodical strategy“ (Zisser, 2007, pp. 19-20) when coping with challenges. Even through the fast developments early within the uprisings of the Arab Spring, Assad delayed an tackle to the nation for per week to reportedly collect information and seek the advice of in regards to the occasions on the streets earlier than formulating his place (Phillips, 2020, p. 30). Assad’s excessive functionality to distinguish and alter views can be typically attributed to his huge publicity to Western beliefs and values throughout his time as a health care provider in Europe and attributable to his spouse being born and raised in London (Zisser, 2007, pp. 22, 25). Being the previous chair of the Syrian Pc Society, declaring himself to be a jazz fan, and deliberately cultivating a picture of Syrian cosmopolitanism and orientation in the direction of tradition and humanities led to Assad being conceived as a “Westernised” chief fairly than one being pushed by conventional values (Zisser, 2007, p. 130; Heydemann & Leenders, 2013, p. 23). He, moreover, performed in depth visits to Arab and Western European international locations to fulfill different leaders personally and collect first-hand experiences about narratives and perceptions overseas (Zisser, 2007, p. 131). This viewpoint of Assad is contested by Van Dam (2017), who believes these evaluations to be fairly “based mostly on wishful pondering than on realities” (p. 85) and drastically exaggerated. Spitaletta’s (2014) evaluation of Assad’s contextual complexity (= 0.66), though ranging 0.07 larger, yields the identical classification as ours.

Since Assad confirmed low self-confidence however a excessive diploma of conceptual complexity, he may be thought of a frontrunner that’s open to contextual data. Such leaders, in accordance with Hermann (2002, p. 18), are sometimes attentive to the wants and pursuits of others and appear to conduct themselves in a extra pragmatic vogue than others. Moreover, they typically deal with occasions and points case by case and have a tendency to guage what actions they understand to be acceptable in a scenario previous to executing them (Hermann, 2002).

Motivation for Looking for Workplace

Lastly, it’s crucial to find out the underlying purpose for Assad to imagine, stay in, and defend his place of energy. To evaluate if he’s both pushed by inner motivations (e.g., specific pursuits, ideologies, or a particular trigger) or by the specified response from his setting (e.g., assist, energy, approval), we are going to consider Assad’s motivation for in search of energy in addition to his identification with the group he belongs to (cf. Hermann, 2002).

When analyzing the motivation of a frontrunner to hunt workplace, we distinguish between completely different group capabilities {that a} chief can fulfil “sustaining group spirit and morale” (Hermann, 2002, p. 24) or pushing the group to pursue a process. To evaluate if leaders are such “relationship-builders” or “problem-solvers”, it’s noticed in the event that they focus fairly on the feelings and needs of related constituents or on interactions with different people. If phrases sign pursuing an exercise or engaged on a process, they’re counted as indicators for a process orientation. In the meantime “phrases that focus on concern for an additional’s emotions, needs, and satisfaction” (Hermann, 2002, p. 26) sign an orientation in the direction of relationships. Averaging 67 excessive process observations and 69 low process observations per interview, Assad reveals a mean of 0.50 for his process orientation (see Appendix A). In comparison with the databank of 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.59) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.62), a rating of 0.50 ranges reasonable amongst each pattern teams (see Appendix B). He confirmed the best diploma of process focus (0.67) in 2016 in his interview with AFP and the bottom stage (0.42) in 2013 with CBS (see Appendix C). Some students (e.g., Bass, 1981) argue that leaders with a reasonable process focus are sometimes charismatic by nature and — relying on the context — can concentrate on fostering relationships if applicable or on problem-solving if crucial.

There may be little proof within the current literature to verify or refute such an evaluation, however Bar argued in 2006 that Assad was properly conscious of the expectations and calls for of the Syrian inhabitants and even involved in fulfilling them. Leverett (2005) additionally confirms that Assad’s process orientation in his early years was not notably outstanding attributable to an absence of “capability or final intention“ (p. 69) to resolve social points. Assad’s consciousness of the connection along with his constituents is once more reported by Phillips (2020, p. 24), who factors out that through the early days of protests in Daraa, Assad tried conciliation, tried to defuse tensions, and combine neighborhood leaders into settlements with protestors. Opposite to our evaluation, Spitaletta (2014) considers Assad to own a really excessive process orientation (0.79) — a consequence not supported by different sources.

The persona trait of ingroup bias describes if and to what diploma a frontrunner’s worldview is occupied and impacted by a gaggle affiliation (Hermann, 2002, p. 29). Hermann (2002) argues that intense and long-lasting attachments can exist between a frontrunner and an ingroup and that the chief will put an emphasis on sustaining the tradition and standing of his group. When analysing the interviews, it’s noticed if phrases or phrases referring to the chief’s group are “favorable (…); counsel energy (…); or point out the necessity to preserve group honor and id” (Hermann, 2002, p. 29). When coding for ingroup bias, a mean of solely 7 excessive ingroup bias observations and 91 low ingroup bias observations per interview may very well be decided. Assad, due to this fact, scores a mean of 0.07 for ingroup bias (see Appendix A). In comparison with the databank of 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.42) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.43), Assad’s rating of 0.07 for ingroup bias ranges far beneath what is classed as a low diploma (< 0.32 and < 0.34 respectively) (see Appendix B). He confirmed the best stage of ingroup bias (0.11) in 2016 in his interview with AFP and the bottom stage (0.04) in 2016 with AP (see Appendix C). In response to Hermann (2002, p. 30), leaders with a low ingroup bias are inclined to see cleavages between teams as much less inflexible however are nonetheless involved with sustaining their respective group. Such a differentiated perspective on buddy and foe permits leaders to react and adapt extra freely to the context and occasions of their setting (Hermann, 2002, p. 30).

Whereas Assad’s reliance on the constructions and energy base of the Ba’th Celebration is uncontested, many sources affirm our analysis that Assad doesn’t possess an exaggerated ingroup bias however is ready to depend on outsiders if it fits his pursuits, and thus, can adapt quicker and extra freely to adjustments in his environment. Assad has proven that he can strengthen and use the affect of social gathering cadres whereas on the identical time inserting exterior consultants and technocrats into key positions in authorities (Bar, 2006, p. 362). This employment of the social gathering as a robust platform, whereas concurrently fostering the careers of non-Ba’th consultants, as noticed by completely different authors, resulted within the strengthening of his personal place — disliked cadres are alienated whereas favorable outsiders acquire affect (Bar, 2006, p. 374; Sika, 2015, p. 165). One other group that Assad belongs to, however in the direction of which he stays at a calculated distance, are the Alawites. Neither did he marry a lady of Alawite origin (Asma Al-Assad is from a Sunni household), nor did he “connect adequate significance to entrenching his regime on agency clan, tribal and communal foundations“ (Zisser, 2007, pp. 58, 62-63). For the reason that ruling, Alawites see themselves confronted with a predominantly Sunni inhabitants, and the opportunity of Assad’s demise has stoked fears of violent repercussions amongst their communities early on — realising they want Assad greater than he wants them (Bawey, 2014, pp. 24, 49). Spitaletta (2014) additionally decided a low ingroup bias rating for Assad (0.24), and thus, additional helps our evaluation.

Because the final persona trait, a frontrunner’s mistrust of others is analysed. Such mistrust may be ascertained if leaders possess a “basic feeling of doubt, uneasiness, misgiving, and wariness about others” (Hermann, 2002, p. 30), in addition to once they present the tendency to suspect actions and speculate in regards to the motives of others. To ascertain the diploma of mistrust, interview responses are perused for statements in the direction of people or teams exterior to the analysed leaders and their environment that point out “mistrust, doubt, misgivings or concern about what these individuals or teams are doing” (Hermann, 2002, p. 10). By averaging 46 excessive mistrust observations and 71 low mistrust observations per interview, Assad scores a mean of 0.39 for mistrust in the direction of others (see Appendix A). In comparison with the databank of 87 heads of state (x̄ = 0.41) and 122 political leaders (x̄ = 0.38), Assad’s rating of 0.39 is taken into account reasonable (see Appendix B). He confirmed the best stage of mistrust of others (0.49) in 2016 in his interview with AP and the bottom stage (0.24) in 2005 with CNN (see Appendix C). Leaders with a reasonable mistrust of others are neither overly suspicious, paranoid or obsessive about loyalty nor do they take relationships and belief probably (Hermann, 2002, p. 31-32). Spitaletta’s (2014) evaluation yielded a mistrust rating of 0.024, considerably decrease than our evaluation. The prevailing literature doesn’t present dependable insights to show or refute both consequence, due to this fact, additional investigation into Assad’s precise belief behaviour in the direction of others is required.

Since Assad has a low ingroup bias and a reasonable mistrust of others, his focus is on constructing relationships and seizing alternatives, whereas, at instances and relying on the context, remaining vigilant in the direction of his environment (Hermann, 2002, p. 28).


Having totally assessed Assad’s persona traits, in contrast the findings with different leaders, and put the outcomes into context, it’s additional essential to briefly analyse the adjustments in Assad’s answering behaviour and decide how these developments match into the temporal context. To that finish, the interviews used for this evaluation are separated in accordance with the time intervals they have been printed (see Appendix D). The CNN interview from 2005 is used as a pre-Arab Spring reference, the interviews from 2011-2013 are used to depict Assad’s persona traits through the emergence, escalation, and peak of the violence, and the interviews from 2016-2017 painting a time throughout which battle prevailed however the survival of the regime appeared safe.

When evaluating Assad’s outcomes over these three intervals, a number of hanging observations may be made. Assad’s mistrust of others (from 0.24 in 2005 to 0.42 in 2016-2016), in addition to his process focus (from 0.42 to 0.57), have elevated most importantly. Being surrounded by enemies, ostracised within the worldwide neighborhood, and stricken by desertion, Assad will need to have realised that he can solely depend on and belief in himself and his fast environment. Moreover, he recognised that he should face and finally overcome the challenges forward with decided motion – fastidiously trying to foster relationships may show insufficient when opposition forces have already seized the outskirts of your capital.

Whereas his self-confidence has elevated general (0.36 to 0.39), it suffered a downturn through the peak of the battle (0.32). As a result of these interviews have been performed throughout a time during which his regime’s survival was removed from sure, it isn’t farfetched to attribute this outlier to an unsure future and issues in regards to the safety of his regime, his household, and his life.

Assad’s perception to have the power to manage occasions has elevated solely barely since 2005 (0.40 to 0.44), as has his conceptual complexity (0.57 to 0.59). His want for energy alternatively has decreased barely (0.32 to 0.29), just like his already low ingroup bias (0.10 to 0.07). Such practically constant observations that sign solely minor adjustments over a protracted time frame function a sign of the standard of our findings and counsel that Assad possesses a consolidated persona in these features.


Our evaluation has proven that Bashar Al-Assad respects constraints in his setting and works inside these in the direction of his objectives. Among the many actors and teams that Assad is dependent upon or feels hooked up to, he values consensus and compromise. Moreover, he’s open to contextual data, and due to this fact, is extra attentive to the wants and pursuits of others. Furthermore, he’s extra pragmatic than different leaders, fairly tends to deal with points case by case, and evaluates how actions are perceived by others previous to carrying them out. Relying on the context, his focus is both on constructing relationships or on seizing alternatives to resolve issues.

In response to Hermann (2002), management fashion is derived from a mixture of a frontrunner’s responsiveness to constraints, openness to data, and motivation for in search of workplace. Utilising this classification and making use of it to the outcomes of this evaluation, Assad may be categorised as having both a reactive or accommodative management fashion, relying on the context. Whereas reactive leaders concentrate on evaluating their prospects in a given scenario and think about which choices vital actors will favour or enable, accommodative leaders concentrate on constructing consensus of their setting, empowering others, sharing accountability, and reconciling variations (Hermann, 2002, p. 9).

This classification will help us to elucidate why Assad, in contrast to lots of the leaders through the Arab Spring, remains to be in energy a decade later. For one, he managed to restrain his ambitions and harmonise the means to his disposal with the ends he pursued. When a frontrunner needs greater than his sources enable, he’ll finally fail. But when he needs lower than he can obtain, he won’t attain his full potential. Assad knew his constraints and acted solely when he was , thereby he prevented overstretching his capabilities and sporting out his armed forces. Secondly, Assad made himself conscious of the implications of his personal actions on different actors. Skilfully, he mixed Russian and Iranian sources to command a military of Alawites, Druzes, Christians, Kurds, and even Sunnis towards a standard enemy – all whereas balancing their pursuits towards his personal. Arguably, the lack of solely one in every of these teams or allies may have brought on vital hurt, if not the downfall of the regime. Lastly, Assad didn’t chorus from sharing authority and energy amongst vital actors and allies. With out the Syrian safety and intelligence equipment in addition to influential army leaders, he would arguably not have remained in energy to at the present time. Whereas different states noticed the army and police switching sides through the Arab Spring — the final word demise for a ruler — the Syrian military and intelligence companies remained loyal and consequently stored the regime alive.

In conclusion, Assad’s grip on energy can’t be attributed to notably distinctive and excellent character traits, however to perseverance and the power to adapt rapidly and keep versatile, in addition to to take into consideration the views of others. His analysed character traits, a few of which place fairly beneath common, thus, counsel an extraordinary and versatile chief who, as an alternative of being distinguished by hanging and memorable distinctive options, is fairly characterised by the unification of extremes: from mediocrity to success.

As said above, the authors of this paper solely used interviews from Western sources between 2005 and 2017. Additional and future analysis, due to this fact, must increase the information sources to additionally embrace Arabic interviews that cowl earlier in addition to later years and, to refine the outcomes, use solely longer responses (80 phrases or extra). Whereas our outcomes are similar to Spitaletta’s (2014), it’s essential to conduct additional unbiased management trait analyses of Bashar Al-Assad and, by evaluating knowledge and methodology, assess the standard of every research’s outcomes. Lastly, post-civil struggle analyses may present further references sooner or later and put outcomes from through the civil struggle, equivalent to this paper, into perspective.


Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D


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