Conflict & International Politics

Conflict & International Politics

Yours Truly, From Idlib

Photo Essay

The deeper we dug with Tim into the stories of joy coupled with the losses, of hopes nipped in the bud yet re-emerging, the more we were convinced that this way, of not only sharing impressions but displaying the sweet and sour broader context of the reality behind these photos, really matters. For that, we paired Tim with Syrian writer and rapper Hani Al Sawah whose words helped create a personal narrative telling the story. The collaborative work speaks volumes about civilians doing what any civilian should be doing - living. Buying and selling. Diving into the unknown. Fishing. Barbecuing. Celebrating weddings and public holidays. Or for children: learning at school or simply spending time at a playground.

By Tim Alsiofi, Hani Al Sawah

The Right to Belong to a Political Community at the Example of the Legal Situation of Refu-gees in Lebanon

Paper

The Right to Belong to a Political Community: Syrian refugees in Lebanon face difficulties in their legal status and in the possibilities they have to claim rights. The reasons are complex and go far beyond the Lebanese context, however, that most of them are illegal is crucial since revealing themselves to the authority with any claim is a risk. Antonia Klein studied the impact of gaps in international law adapting to the world refugee situation and looks at patterns in Lebanon.

By Antonia Klein

The Strong Point of the Syrian Army: No one else can carry as many washing machines

Blog

When the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London stated in 2013 that the Syrian army’s strength had been severely compromised and had fallen to about half its original size, the institute may have simply applied an incorrect scale. Perhaps the strength of the Syrian army is not measured in its numbers but rather in the amount of household appliances a soldier can carry.

By Bente Scheller

Publication

No Longer Just a Humanitarian Crisis: The Politicization of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

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Paper

This brief details the history of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon from 2011 to present. As economic and security conditions in Lebanon have fluctuated and weakened over the course of Syria's war, public ire and distrust in Lebanon has turned towards the over 1 million Syrian refugees who have settled there, who many Lebanese view as responsible for Lebanon's economic and political woes. This brief breaks down why the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has become so politicized in both public discourse and the rhetoric of political pundits, arguing that refugees have become a scapegoat to deflect away from more severe structural issues such as sectarianism and poor governance.

 

New Ways of Resisting: How Art from Syria Changes Regarding New Political Challenges

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Research Paper

During the war in Syria, artists played a big role in keeping the fight for freedom alive via peaceful and creative means such as street art, film-making, and documentation at a time when traditional media continued painting the picture as one of hopelessness. Their work has paved the way for possibly new strategies through which they could seek justice against crimes committed by the regime.

Women’s Rights in Rojava

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Paper

This study focuses on the areas permanently under Kurdish control with regime presence. These areas have experienced a quite different trajectory because they have been least affected by military fighting. While the human losses and damage suffered at the hands of ISIS should not be belittled, this area has hardly experienced aerial bombardments or fighting on the ground. Kurdish actors, for a long time tightly controlled by the Syrian regime, have been able to develop governance structures in parallel to the ones set up by the regime. While none of the Kurdish parties has openly called for independence understood as separation from Syria, Kurdish actors have come up with governance structures that explore the possibilities of autonomy within a federal state. They have come up with a constitution and an institutional design, and as far as it is in the range of their possibilities, they have been working on implementing it.

Where is Home for the Permanently Displaced? Citizens of Daraya

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Where is "home" for the permanently displaced? Haid N Haid, Syrian Columnists and Chatham House Fellow, presents the findings of his study on how (and where) citizens of Daraya see their future in light of the mounting pressure Syrian refugees are facing to return home with no clear plans to ensure the security or protection of returnees or any guarantees to ensure their right to return to their own properties.

WHAT WE DO

 Conflict and crisis continue to be the double term most consistently associated with the region. A multitude of fault lines today run across the region, springing from unresolved grievances past and present. As flash points continue to erupt, such conflicts radiate out and reach those who once considered themselves safely away over the sea. Accordingly, international efforts and intervention are being stepped up to set things right - but all too often, they get it all wrong. The program Conflict and International Politics is designed to analyze the roots of conflict, encourage constructive engagement with the memory and repercussions of conflict, and inquire into avenues to peaceful and cooperative solutions.

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