Competing Narratives on Syria amid International Escalation

Competing Narratives on Syria amid International Escalation

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Reuben Hills Conference Room
2nd Floor East Wing E207
Encina Hall
616 Serra Street
Stanford, California 94305

  • Bassam Haddad


By now, those following the news on Syria have been saturated with analysis, data, information, and misinformation on developments there since 2011. Yet we observe an increasing gravitation to mutually exclusive narratives that adorn websites and publications on the situation in Syria: (a) the narrative of pure and consistent revolution versus that of (b) external conspiracy/designs on Syria. Both narratives carry grains of truth, but are encumbered by maximalist claims and fundamental blindspots that forfeit various potentials for enduring cease-fires and/or transitions, let alone mutual understanding. This talk will address these competing narratives in the context of international escalation marked by increasing US-Russian tension and continued multi-layered conflicts on the battlefield. It closes with addressing a framework for understanding and gauging potential prospects despite conflicting declarations by all parties involved.



Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East Studies Program and Associate Professor at the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs (SPGIA) at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and Co-Editor of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). Bassam 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 a critically acclaimed film series on Arabs and Terrorism, based on extensive field research/interviews. Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and the Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute, an umbrella for five organizations dealing with knowledge production on the Middle East. He serves on the Board of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and is Executive Producer of Status Audio Journal.



*This event is supported by the Stanford Initiative for Religious and Ethnic Understanding and Coexistence

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