After nearly five years since the start of the uprising, Syria finds itself divided and embattled, with no end in sight. More significantly, more than half of the Syrian population is displaced and the death toll surpassed 300,000 by all counts. The Syrian tragedy persists and, more than any other case of mass uprising in the region, continues to be shrouded in political power-plays and contradictions at the local, regional, and international levels. Defined increasingly by an absence of a clear favorable outcome, considering existing parties to the conflict, the logic of the lesser evil reigns supreme. This lecture is an attempt to understand the roots and dynamics of the tragic Syrian uprising, with particular attention to its background and to the recent Russian intervention.
Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University, and is Visiting Professor at Georgetown University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011). Haddad is currently editing a volume on Teaching the Middle East After the Arab Uprisings, a book manuscript on pedagogical and theoretical approaches. His most recent books include two co-edited volumes: Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012) and Mediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing, 2013). Haddad serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal a peer-reviewed research publication and is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of the critically acclaimed film series, Arabs and Terrorism, based on extensive field research/interviews. More recently, he directed a film on Arab/Muslim immigrants in Europe, titled The "Other" Threat. Haddad is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and serves on the Editorial Committee of Middle East Report. He is the Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute, an umbrella for five organizations dealing with knowledge production on the Middle East and Founding Editor of Tadween Publishing.
This event is co-sponsored by The Markaz: Resource Center at Stanford University.