The Syrian Uprising – Motives, Actors and Agendas

May 14, 2012 in Panels by admin

Languages:  Deutsch/German, Englisch/English

The Syrian Uprising which started in March 2011is characterized as the longest, most violent and apparently also most opaque struggle for freedom and dignity in the framework of the “Arab Awakening”. The atrocities committed by the security forces loyal to the regime against armed opposition groups and, in a similar manner, the overwhelming majority of those peacefully demonstrating everyday in towns and villages all over Syria seems to have divided the Syrian population into two fronts for and against Assad. In addition, all calls for an end of violence brought forth by the Syrian opposition in- and outside the country, the Arab neighbors and the international community have been ignored so far. Against this background the Syrian regime has isolated itself to a large degree in the international political arena. Moreover, the United States, the European Union and others introduced harsh and extensive economic sanctions against the country.

The aim of this panel is, on the one hand, to identify and discuss different socio-economic and political motives or driving factors behind the uprising. On the other hand, the panel wants to throw a more detailed look on the major actors pro and contra the protests on the local as well as external levels as well as to explore their claims, ideas and agendas. This discussion shall not only focus on or be limited to “the family”, oppositional groups or forces loyal to the regime, private entrepreneurs, religious or ethnic groups or different external actors, but shall include also the local and international media, for instance. Finally, the panel aims at investigating and analyzing actual and potential long-term effects of the uprising on the Syrian economy, culture and society.

Organised by: Anja Zorob and Salam Said

Paper proposals (300 words approx.) should be sent directly to Anja Zorob, Ruhr University Bochum ( and Salam Said, FU Berlin ( by June 4, 2012.