Citizenship Practices in Syria Before the Arab Uprisings: The Legacy of ‘Concentric’ Citizenship

Release date: 2022-06

By focusing on the two Assads’ periods (1971-2011), this study traces the evolution of the nature of the relationship between the state and its citizen(s) in Syria to explain the sources and complex dynamics of the protracted conflict. It aims to promote new approaches to peace and reconstruction in Syria through thinking about the origins of the conflict by analyzing the fragile foundations of citizenship as practice. In doing so, it unveils the relationship among citizenship practice, ethnoreligious identity, political economy, and allegiance to the regime in the country from the 1970s onwards. The study identifies ‘concentric’ citizenship’ in Syria, an approach to citizenship that has been toxic to social cohesion & democracy and calls for attention in the Middle East to focus on citizenship debates to complement, challenge, and advance democratization studies.

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