For centuries the world has been plagued with conflict and violence that cause destruction, population displacement, famine, hunger and outright chaos. As the image of warfare has continually changed, internal conflict or civil wars became a more common site. With the end of the cold war, the world has witnessed an increasing number of civil strife enticing debates in the study of civil war on "new" and "old" wars and the encouraging theories on civil war onset and duration. The Middle East region is no stranger to the phenomena of civil war with the area itself home to several conflicts. In 2011, the region ignited with rebellions against ruling regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya. What started as revolutions aiming for political change soon escalated to internal conflict. Six years into civil war the conflict in Syria has left 400,000 people dead and millions seeking refuge across the globe. To understand the events of the Syrian Civil War and its possible outcomes, this research project analyzes the dynamics of Syrian society, the historic relationship between the different minorities and the regime and the role of the Ba'th Party in the creation of this modern state. This is achieved through tracing the actions of the rebels and the regime in mobilizing past grievances and the opportunities of greed that both have taken advantage of.


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Graduation Date


Submission Date

July 2017

First Advisor

Sika, Nadine

Committee Member 1

Pinfari, Marco

Committee Member 2

ElSherif, Ashraf


120 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item