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Syria's Predicament: State (de-)Formation and International Rivalries


Syria's war raises important questions about the interaction between the domestic and external dimensions of the conflict. What are the main areas of contention, and how do they relate to regional and international dynamics? Why has the conflict developed into a regional and international battle, and who are the main actors in this rivalry? And, finally, what are the realistic options for ending the Syrian war? The aim of this paper is to answer these questions. In the first, the author examines the domestic origins of the Syrian crisis by focusing on the process of state formation and deformation in Syria. Then, he considers the main areas of contention that shape the Syrian civil war and its regional and international dimensions. Finally, he assesses the conditions under which Syria - as a divided state in a polarised region - can end the war. He argues that in the absence of a military solution to the war in Syria, a political solution may be the only hope for ending the crisis; but such a solution is fraught by varying domestic and external interests in Syria.

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