Understanding Syria's sectarian wave

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The sectarian wave that has swept over MENA since the Arab Uprisings has profoundly reshaped regional politics. Syria has become an epicentre of sectarian conflict that has drawn in sectarian actors from without and spilled out over the region. It is therefore a sort of laboratory in which we can explore the dynamics of sectarianism in the region. Understanding the Syrian case requires some engagement with the theoretical debates on sectarianization. The main debate is: to what extent does sectarian identity determine political interests, strategies, alignments and conflicts and to what extent is sectarianization an outcome of these factors? This essay proposes a theoretical framework for understanding this and illustrates it with empirical material from the Syria case.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Specialist publicationE-International Relations
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2021


  • Syria conflict
  • sectarianism


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