The conference aims at attracting scholars at all career levels, including post-graduate students, from a broad range of disciplines. Original research based on empirical data and/or new theoretical approaches are encouraged. Contributions by Syrian scholars are especially welcome. Papers may cover a variety of topics and are not confined to the following suggestions:
- The nature of the Syrian war: actors, identities and interests
- The Silent and Marginalized voices: Is there a ‘third force/way”?
- The Islamist opposition and the evolution of Syrian Islam amidst the conflict
- Regime survival
- State collapse, violence and the disappearance of borders: the rise of ISIS, sectarian transnationalism, and international intervention.
- The future of Syria: Is a diplomatic solution viable? Is an Iranian-Saudi détente over Syria possible? Is a power-sharing formula (or consociational democracy) possible?
Outstanding contributions will be considered for publication in the Syrian Studies Journal and for inclusion in an edited volume to be published by Routledge.
The international conference will bring together in one place the largest and most diverse concentration of scholars of Syria. It will feature papers by some 25 based on innovative and cutting edge research. The Roundtable discussions feature the biggest names in the field of Syrian studies, diplomacy and conflict resolution. Roundtable participants David Lesch, Steven Heydeman, Samir Aita, Michael Williams and Carsten Wieland have all been intimately involved in diplomacy, track II and conflict resolution projects regarding Syria. I William Zartman is the world’s most famous expert on conflict resolution in failed states. Special guests, Nicholas Van Dam and Ibrahim Hamidi, will be featured participants in the workshops. The workshops will give all conference attendees a chance to interact with these scholars and practitioners in debating the way forward in the Syrian crisis. The registration fee includes three nights accommodation, plus many meals, teas and coffee, etc.
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION EXTENDED TO 8 JUNE 2015
Tuesday, 30th June
7:00pm Wine Reception in New Arts Building Theatre Foyer
Wednesday, 1 July
8:30-9:30 Introduction and Welcome
Panel 1 (9:30-11:15) Regime and Opposition
Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Has the Syrian Civil War Reached a ‘Mutually Hurting Stalemate?
Samer Abboud, Sanctions and Elite Factionalization in Syria
Maria Aurora Sottimano, The Syria Interim Government: a dual legitimacy deficit?
Panel 2 (11:30—1:15) Regional and International dimensions
Salem B.S. Dandan, The Quds Force in Syria
Ali A.K.Ali, Political Economy of War
Panel 3 (2:30—4:15): From Secular Protest to Islamist Permutations
Roundtable Discussion: 4:30-5:45: Approaches to Ending the Syrian conflict
Featuring: Steven Heydeman and David Lesch
Commentators: Raymond Hinnebusch, Samir Aita, Thomas Pierret and Ibrahim Hamidi
7:00pm Dinner in Agnes Blackadder Residence
Thursday 2, July
Panel 1 (9:30-11:15): Marginalized Voices
Ferdinand Arslanian, The Uprising-Skeptic Oppositionists
Talip Alkhayer, Allawite opposition in Syrian and the rise of ISIS
Yutaka Takaoka, Regime survival and People’s Assembly
Panel 2 (11:30—1:15): Sect, Ethnicity, Gender
Edith Szanto, Depictions of Gender in the Syrian conflict
Feliz Katman, Kurds of Syria: a Sudden Discovery
Panel 3 (2:30—4:15): Refugees and Migrants
Roundtable Discussion: 4:30-5:45: The Failure of Political Solutions
Featuring remarks on Diplomatic Obstacles: Carsten Wieland, Michael Williams and I William Zartman
Commentators: Dawn Chatty, Salwa Ismail, Eberhard Kienle, Adham Saouli, Omar Imady
7:30pm Banquet in Lower College Hall
Friday 3, July
Panel 1 (9:30-11:15): Alternative Governance and Voices
Joshka Wessels, Voices and Visions of Syrian video activists in Aleppo and Raqqa
Workshops (11:30- 12:45): Moving Beyond the Stalemate
Workshop 1: The Future of Syria’s Political System
Workshop 2: Diplomatic Solutions to the Syrian Crisis
Workshop 3: Social reconciliation and Syrian Refugees
Buffet Lunch: 12:45-2:00
Plenary and Closing: 2:00-3:00