Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This thesis examines the life and influence of Michel Aflaq, the founder of the Arab Ba'th Party. Aflaq's Ba'thists seized power in Syria and Iraq after military coups in 1963. Much like Lenin, Aflaq, secretary general of the Ba'thist Party since its inception, has emphasized the necessity of maintaining an elite vanguard of party leadership rather than a mass movement to insure the purity of Ba'thist ideology. This political ideology has, as its focus, the three goals of the party slogan: "Unity, Liberty and Socialism."

In evaluating the impact of Aflaq and his party, this study examines the philosopher's letters, political speeches, party statements and newspaper articles. Research reveals a political figure embroiled in Arab nationalist pursuits, seeking a difficult Arab unity while striving to prevent intra-party strife. At present, the Ba'thists remain divided although Aflaq's ideological legacy continues to transform the Ba'thist government, transcending the political boundaries of several Arab states.

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