Leading experts discuss what’s next for Syria as the country is at an impasse.
and Clare Lockhart
, founders of the Institute for State Effectiveness, have spent several years conducting research on political and economic transitions. Now they hope to apply some of those lessons to Syria.
Lockhart presented a working draft of a new paper
, 'Preparing for a Syrian Transition
' to a select group of
London’s premier Syria experts assembled by the Legatum Institute, including senior diplomats
, academics, journalists and Syrian activists. A final version of the paper will be published
by the Legatum Institute in November.
"The dynamic of the Syrian conflict has entered a new phase. The Assad regime
has not managed to suppress the insurgency or hold simultaneously all of its territory. Stripped of legitimacy, the regime relies upon violence to maintain control. In response, a movement that began as a protest of people bearing flowers has become an insurgency dedicated to the overthrow of the regime. No longer a network of disparate spontaneous movements, it has become a relatively organized, coordinated and armed opposition. Yet it is not strong enough to win control of the country outright. The regime retains significant constituencies of support, especially in the non-Sunni population, and is intent on remaining a minority dictatorship hiding behind a veneer of secular nationalism.
In short, Syria is at an impasse, with severe risks to its people and the region, as well as the broader world.
But Syria is not the first country to find itself in such a situation.
We believe that Syria, too, can find a way out. Although the contours of any possible transition will be shaped by the evolving context, lessons can be learned from the global experience of the 1980s, 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century – lessons which might help Syria not only avoid the deepening of civil war but move towards restructuring itself as a legitimate modern state."
The lunch discussion was moderated by LI’s Director of Political Studies Anne Applebaum
. Preparing for a Syrian Transition
is the first in a series of 'Transitions' papers dedicated to the economics and politics of radical political change.
The final version of the paper is available now: About the Authors
Dr Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart are co-founders of the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE). The ISE uses a citizen-centered perspective to rethink the fundamentals of the relationship between citizens, the state and the market in the context of globalization.