Syria’s manufacturing sector: the model of economic recovery in question

“This research report seeks to analyse the situation of Syria’s manufacturing sector, which could be a key element to the stability of the country’s economy. What are the main challenges and obstacles involved in the redevelopment of the sector? What are the Syrian government’s policies to alleviate the difficulties of Syrian manufacturers and what are the contrasting positions of different members of the economic elite in the country? The paper discusses Syria’s current model of economic recovery, which is far from guaranteeing a rebirth of the sector in a near future”

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Les soulèvements populaires soudanais et algériens ont ravivé des espoirs, bien que prudents, dans la région. Les processus révolutionnaires débutés à la fin 2010 et au début 2011 démontrent encore toute leur actualité.

Dans les deux pays, le renversement des personnalités à la tête de ces régimes est loin d’avoir été suffisant pour les manifestant·e·s. Les appels à continuer les manifestations et les oppositions face à ces régimes et à leurs représentants se sont multipliés, afin d’obtenir de réels changements politiques et socio-économiques en faveur des classes populaires.

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Pluralism Lost in Syria’s Uprising

One of the most painful unanswered questions of the Syrian civil war is how an uprising touting the values of democracy, universal rights, and inclusion devolved into an international conflict, with multiple foreign interventions, in which sectarian and ethnic tensions rose considerably. The regime of Bashar al-Assad has argued it was fighting the forces of extremism from the beginning. The narrative of the secular opposition is that the Assad regime intentionally allowed extremist foes to flourish while crushing other activists, in order to discredit the uprising; the opposition was further doomed to failure by the interventions of foreign powers, both regional and global.

While secular activists’ position is closer to the truth, it still omits an important part of the reason for the revolution’s failure. Syria’s mainstream opposition failed to articulate an inclusive definition of citizenship and an inclusive alternative that could allay the fears of minorities, secularists, and other sectors of the society—including Sunnis, who opposed the Assad regime but failed to see a place for themselves in the future envisioned by the armed opposition. Regime violence, repression, and international support best explain the Assad regime’s resilience, but the opposition’s own platform still bears scrutiny. The armed opposition’s failure to craft a compelling vision of Syrian citizenship and an inclusive alternative explains a significant degree of the limits on its popular appeal. It was never able to reflect the inclusive appeal of the initial protest movement that gathered large sectors of the Syrian population from various backgrounds.

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L’industrie syrienne face à de nombreux défis

Avant 2011, la production manufacturière en Syrie contribuait à 4,4 % du PIB et représentait près de 15 % des emplois. Mais le secteur a été l’un des plus gravement touchés par la guerre. Les destructions et dommages subis par les établissements industriels, publics et privés, sont estimés entre 3 et 4,5 milliards de dollars.

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السياق السياسي الاقتصادي لإعادة الإعمار في سوريا الآفاق في ظل إرث تنموي غير متكافئ

تسعى هذه المقالة إلى الوصول إلى فهم وتحليل عميقين لديناميكيات إعادة الإعمار. وتحلل من هذا المنظور السياسات الاقتصادية للحكومة السورية في العقد السابق للانتفاضة الشعبية. ثم تفحص هذه الورقة البحثية كيفية تغيير الحرب للاقتصاد السياسي لسوريا من خلال النظر في آثار الدمار على البنية الاقتصادية للبلاد. وأخيراً ترصد المقالة السيناريوهات والآفاق المحتملة بناء على ديناميكيات الصراع الحالية وذلك من أجل الأخذ بعين الاعتبار خطوطاً جديدة للبحث في المستقبل القريب في موضوع اقتصاد الحرب وعملية إعادة الإعمار. فكما أن النظام استخدم الحرب ودمارها لتكثيف سياساته في الليبرالية الجديدة وحيازة المزيد من السلطة السياسية فإن الطريقة التي تتشكل فيها عملية إعادة الإعمار هي فرصة أخرى يمكن لأصحاب القوة استخدامها لتوسيع سيطرتهم السياسية والاقتصادية على سوريا

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The political economic context of Syria’s reconstruction : a prospective in light of a legacy of unequal development


The article seeks to deepen the understanding and analysis around reconstruction dynamics. In this perspective, the economic policies of the Syrian government in the decade prior to the uprising are analysed. The paper then examines how the war transformed the political economy of Syria by considering the effects of destruction on the country’s economic structure. Finally, the article observes the possible scenarios and prospects based on the conflict’s current dynamics to consider new lines of research in the near future in relation to the topic of the war economy and the reconstruction process. Just as the war and its destruction have been used by the regime to intensify neoliberal policies and secure further political power, the way that reconstruction is shaped is another opportunity by which those in power will seek to extend their political and economic domination of Syria.