Re-imagining the ‘State’ in Syria During the First Year of the Uprising (2011–2012)



In the last couple of years, the socio-economic landscape of Syria has dramatically changed. Having started off with non-violent protests across the country from February 2011 onwards, the Syrian uprising was systematically met with violence which contributed to its militarisation. At the time of writing, over 220,000 people have died and over 11 million people are displaced. Crucially, the fast-paced nature and spread of the uprising, encompassing a number of Syrian cities and towns, was unprecedented and marked a conscious and vocal desire by a significant element of the population to put an end to the political regime. This desire translated itself through a wealth of cultural production and practices of protest attempting to re-imagine Syria politically. This chapter examines these attempts at re-imagining ‘the state’ during the first year of the uprising by studying a few elements of cultural production and practices of protest. A closer look into these dynamics reveals that political imagination around the notion of the state is indeed central to the events of 2011. First, this chapter will explore the structural causes underlying the protest movement in Syria. Second, dynamics around the uprising itself will be examined. Third, a conceptual framework will be outlined. Finally, the re-imagination of the state will be analysed in more detail, exposing a number of power dynamics.


Cultural Production Political Regime Religious Minority Symbolic Language Muslim Brotherhood 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International AlertLondonUK

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