Partition: Post-Syrian Society After the Fall of Assad

Title: Partition: Post-Syrian Society After the Fall of Assad
Authors: Assaly, Tania
Date: 2014-05-07
Abstract: The current hostilities in Syria have exposed historical weaknesses in the state’s cohesion and sense of national identity, and exacerbated sectarian divisions among the people, which threaten the stability of the state. At this point in the conflict, the future of Syria and its leadership is uncertain, and there are a number of possible outcomes. The paper presented here proposes that should the regime in Syria fall, the state could go through de facto partitioning along religious and ethnic lines. To demonstrate how this can happen, five factors that are shaping the possible partitioning are analyzed. The first of which is Syria’s history of fragmentation that was deepened by the divide-and-rule policies of the French mandate era, and then continued under the Assad dynasty. The second factor is the backlash effect of “minority might” that has arisen from deep discontent of the majority Sunnis in Syria against the rule of the minority Alawites. The third factor is an examination of how the central government is no longer ensuring the physical and human security 1 of its people as it battles the opposition. Fourth, a dominant feature of the struggle is that neither of the waring factions enjoy enough support or power to bring down the other groups. The fifth factor is the deepening sectarian loyalties that are forming as a result of the conditions on the ground. The paper takes these factors and maps out the post- Syrian society whereby partition would create a state for the Alawites, the Druze, the Sunni, and the Kurds. The analysis culminates with a discussion on how partitioning could impact the Arab Peace Initiative, and the fate of the Golan Heights.
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers