Syrian civil war and the challenges to a negotiated agreement

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Alexandra-Cristina Siticov
On May 13, 2014, Ladhkar Brahimi, UN Syria envoy, announced his resignation from his role accepting his inability to negotiate an agreement amongst the Syrian President Assad Bashar and the opposition group Syrian National Coalition. The opposition group desires a transitional government without Assad, while the Syrian President insists that the actual war is a result of terrorist actions undertaken by the Syrian opponents backed by international powers. Two rounds of negotiations already took place in order to provide a solution to this violent war. A third negotiations round is supposed to take place, but so far there is no consensus that will bring an end to the conflict. Therefore, there comes the question why it is so difficult to reach a political solution in this case? Why these types of negotiations fail? What are the causes that hinder a peaceful resolution of this conflict?
This is what this thesis is aimed to discover. The arguments developed in this project lay on the theories produced by Barbara Walter, Zartman and Cuningham. Analyzing the conflict by employing 3 different theoretical approaches and through a full examination over the internal and external development of the Syrian armed conflict I was be able to identify the factors that inhibit a successful conflict resolution. With the help of documentary research data and secondary data as books, academic articles or journalistic sources a versatile analysis of this contemporary issue was realized.
The Syrian imbroglio is complex and difficult to explain being much more entangled than it looks like at a first sight. In the end I argue that the Syrian war has a bad configuration of seriously commitment issues, veto-players, lack of mutually hurting stalemate along with highly fragmented opposition and international discord being far from a negotiated settlement.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
ID: 198424877