Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
The Syrian conflict presents as a case that has been well-studied in the power-sharing literature. It is typically coded as an ethno-sectarian civil war moving towards a decisive military victory by an authoritarian regime and thus unlikely to end in a power-sharing agreement. Yet Syria’s experience offers important insights into the effects of new conflict environments on prospects for power-sharing in ‘hard’ cases. Syria’s conflict exhibits attributes and is unfolding in an environment that requires rethinking simplistic correlations between the military and political outcomes of civil wars. Moreover, the form of political settlement that emerges in Syria may also complicate assumptions about the ability of victors to shape the terms of post war settlements unilaterally. Whether a power-sharing agreement is reached in Syria – however remote the prospects for that might be – will be determined by factors that underscore the impact changing conflict contexts can have on how civil wars end.
Heydemann, Steven, "The Syrian Conflict: Proxy War, Pyrrhic Victory, and Power Sharing Agreements" (2020). Middle East Studies: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.