Conclusion: The early trajectory of the Syrian Uprising: From agency to structure

Omar Imady, Raymond Hinnebusch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on how agency – the interests and actions of the actors in the Uprising –constructed a multitude of structures that, in turn, constrained their agency. As Omar Imady shows, many Sufis, the dominant tendency among Syria's Sunni Muslims before the Uprising, also refrained from joining the anti-regime movement. As Mouaz al-Khatib argued, the regime's flirtation with Islamism had facilitated its spread to rural areas before the Uprising. Schmidt argued that Syria's "Sultanist" heritage made it less likely the revolt could have led to democratization and more likely that it would end in a failed state; this seems to be borne out. Khatib shows how the regime's flirtation with Islamism provided the initial structural context and Eido shows how the structural conditions of civil war further enabled a radicalization via the agency of Salafist and jihadist movements. The Syrian Uprising has significantly challenged some of the authors' most basic assumptions about states and society in the Middle East.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Syrian Uprising
Subtitle of host publicationDomestic Origins and Early Trajectory
EditorsRaymond Hinnebusch, Omar Imady
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages7
EditionUnited Kingdom
ISBN (Print)9781138310544
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018


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