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Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Qatar: the ‘sectarianization’ of the Syrian conflict and undermining of democratization in the region

Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Qatar: the ‘sectarianization’ of the Syrian conflict and... AbstractUnderstanding the Syrian conflict only in terms of sectarian politics amounts to dismissing a very modern effort at emancipation within the context of the country’s populace fighting for its civil, political and economic rights, and in the process robs Syrians of their agency and diminishes their humanity. A closer look at events and political alignments in Syria reveals a more complex picture better understood through the lens of regimes’ desire to counteract the dissident and reformist dynamics that emerged with the Arab Spring. And while this paper is most certainly not minimizing the fact that the sectarian discourse and animosity, once activated, acquired its own dynamic, it underlines that this is not a case of so-called ancient sectarian rivalries emerging unprompted and of their own accord. As a result, the Syrian crisis and the regional ramifications of it can be appreciated as not simply identity politics writ large, but as an example of the authoritarian resilience paradigm in action. In making these arguments, this paper examines the interplay of the domestic and regional policies of three actors involved directly in the Syrian conflict: the Syrian regime, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. (considered as a unitary actor within the context of the Syrian crisis), and Qatar. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies Taylor & Francis

Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Qatar: the ‘sectarianization’ of the Syrian conflict and undermining of democratization in the region

British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies , Volume 46 (3): 19 – May 27, 2019

Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Qatar: the ‘sectarianization’ of the Syrian conflict and undermining of democratization in the region

British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies , Volume 46 (3): 19 – May 27, 2019

Abstract

AbstractUnderstanding the Syrian conflict only in terms of sectarian politics amounts to dismissing a very modern effort at emancipation within the context of the country’s populace fighting for its civil, political and economic rights, and in the process robs Syrians of their agency and diminishes their humanity. A closer look at events and political alignments in Syria reveals a more complex picture better understood through the lens of regimes’ desire to counteract the dissident and reformist dynamics that emerged with the Arab Spring. And while this paper is most certainly not minimizing the fact that the sectarian discourse and animosity, once activated, acquired its own dynamic, it underlines that this is not a case of so-called ancient sectarian rivalries emerging unprompted and of their own accord. As a result, the Syrian crisis and the regional ramifications of it can be appreciated as not simply identity politics writ large, but as an example of the authoritarian resilience paradigm in action. In making these arguments, this paper examines the interplay of the domestic and regional policies of three actors involved directly in the Syrian conflict: the Syrian regime, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. (considered as a unitary actor within the context of the Syrian crisis), and Qatar.

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References (2)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2017 British Society for Middle Eastern Studies
ISSN
1469-3542
eISSN
1353-0194
DOI
10.1080/13530194.2017.1408456
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractUnderstanding the Syrian conflict only in terms of sectarian politics amounts to dismissing a very modern effort at emancipation within the context of the country’s populace fighting for its civil, political and economic rights, and in the process robs Syrians of their agency and diminishes their humanity. A closer look at events and political alignments in Syria reveals a more complex picture better understood through the lens of regimes’ desire to counteract the dissident and reformist dynamics that emerged with the Arab Spring. And while this paper is most certainly not minimizing the fact that the sectarian discourse and animosity, once activated, acquired its own dynamic, it underlines that this is not a case of so-called ancient sectarian rivalries emerging unprompted and of their own accord. As a result, the Syrian crisis and the regional ramifications of it can be appreciated as not simply identity politics writ large, but as an example of the authoritarian resilience paradigm in action. In making these arguments, this paper examines the interplay of the domestic and regional policies of three actors involved directly in the Syrian conflict: the Syrian regime, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. (considered as a unitary actor within the context of the Syrian crisis), and Qatar.

Journal

British Journal of Middle Eastern StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: May 27, 2019

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