1st Edition

Actors and Dynamics in the Syrian Conflict's Middle Phase Between Contentious Politics, Militarization and Regime Resilience

Edited By Jasmine K. Gani, Raymond Hinnebusch Copyright 2022
    452 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    452 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume covers the "middle" time period of the Syrian uprising, roughly from 2012 when Syria’s peaceful protest began to mutate into a violent insurgency and civil war until roughly 2018 when the conflict took on features of a "frozen conflict".

    The middle period was important as one of key junctures or turning points when the struggle could have reached rather different outcomes. Non-violent protest failed to drive democratization and turned into violent insurrection but revolution from below also failed as did regime counter-insurgency, leaving protracted civil war the default outcome. Second, the consequences of civil war became evident with six themes: failing statehood coexisted with regime resilience; rebel governance emerged as a viable challenge to the regime; social forces were sharply polarized; external actors exacerbated internal divisions; a predatory war economy emerged; and intense violence led to massive displacement of the population.

    Taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach that seeks to capture the full complexity of the phenomenon, this book contributes significantly to our understanding of the Syrian conflict, therefore it will be of interest to academics, students, journalists and policy-makers interested in the Syrian civil war.


    1. Introduction, The Syrian Uprising: Between Peaceful Protest and State Failure
      Jasmine K. Gani and Raymond Hinnebusch, with time-line by Ferdinand Arslanian
    2. Part I. Critical Junctures

    3. Governance amidst Civil War: from Failing Statehood to Competitive regime Re-formation
      Raymond Hinnebusch
    4. Three Faces of the Syrian Contentious Movement: ‘Externalisation’ of Contention in the Middle Phase of the Syrian Conflict
      Jasmine K. Gani
    5. The Syrian Civil War’s 2015 Impasse: How Russia’s Intervention Turned the Tide
      Ibrahim Al-Marashi
    6. International Conflict Mediation in Syria: From ‘Transformation’ to ‘Containment’
      Bilal Sukkar
    7. Part II. Local Contentious Politics

    8. The Struggle for Territory: Territorial fragmentation and Competitive Governance in Syria through three case studies
      Rana Khalaf
    9. The Syrian Interim Government: Potential thwarted by domestic ‘irrelevance’ and foreign neglect
      Aurora Sottimano
    10. Who owns the law? Logics of Insurgent Courts in the Syrian War (2012 – 2017)
      Regine Schwab and Samer Massoud
    11. The Battle for Deir ez-Zor (2011-2017)
      Samer Bakkour
    12. Part III. Militarisation, Division, and Regime Resilience

    13. Alawite Opposition and the Rise of ISIS
      Talip Al-Khayar
    14. Tribes at War
      Haian Dukhan
    15. Tracing Kurdish Politics in Syria and its Prospects
      Filiz Katman and Dilshad Muhammad
    16. How did Muhajiroun become Jihadists? Foreign Fighters and the Geopolitics of the Conflict in Syria
      Masaki Mizobuchi and Yutaka Takaoka
    17. Part IV. The War Economy

    18. Capital, Business Elites and the Syrian Uprising
      Samer Abboud
    19. Syria’s Banking Sector: from crony capitalism to a survivalist strategy amidst the Syrian conflict
      Rashad Kattan
    20. Division and Cooperation among Syrian Businessmen in Turkey: an Investigation of the Political and Economic Behaviour of Syrian Business Migrants
      Ching-An Chang
    21. Part V. Transnationalism in the Syrian Conflict: Intellectuals to Refugees

    22. Syrians and the Quest for their voice
      Naomí Ramírez Díaz
    23. Syrian Intellectuals and the Media: competing narratives and discursive wars
      Otared Haidar
    24. The Syrian Humanitarian Disaster: Understanding Perceptions and Aspirations in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey
      Dawn Chatty
    25. Trans-local Activism and the Syrian struggle in global politics – Civil society, agency, and ‘new’ political spaces
      Jan Wilkins


    Jasmine K. Gani is Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations and Co-Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews. Her research, supervision, and teaching focus on three main areas: the history of European and US empires in the Middle East and Asia, with particular focus on US-Syrian relations; ideologies and social movements in the Middle East; and postcolonial thought and history. She is the author of The Role of Ideology in Syrian-US Relations: Conflict and Cooperation, and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook on the Middle East and North Africa State and States System (with Raymond Hinnebusch).


    Raymond Hinnebusch is professor of international relations and Middle East politics and founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews. His works include Authoritarian Power and State Formation in Ba’thist Syria (1990) and Syria: Revolution from Above (Routledge: 2001); he co-edited Syria: From Reform to Revolt, (Syracuse, 2014); The Syrian Uprising: Domestic Factors and Early Trajectory (Routledge 2018) and The War for Syria: Regional and International Factors in the Syrian Conflict (Routledge 2019), and edited After the Arab Uprisings: Between Democratization, Counter-revolution and State Failure (Routledge 2016).