Mapping Local Landscapes in the Syrian Conflict: Actors, Networks and Structures (compl.)

The absence of a political settlement of the Syrian conflict has highlighted the role of local actors in rebel-held areas in the makeup of area-specific structures compensating for the collapse of central authority. The intensification of the regime’s activities to regain territory have put local players under severe pressure to create new alliances or to submit to Jihadist groups fighting the regime. Still, the local actors have been crucial in preventing a blanket take-over by Jihadists in northern, central and southern regions outside the control of the Assad regime and the Islamic State. In certain cases, they even managed to drive out or lessen Jihadist presence and influence. To understand the local dynamic is thus crucial for implementing any solution to the war, especially if it results in democratic reform, a de-centralized state and a unified move to take the Jihadists out of the picture.

The project is conducted within the Division Middle East/Africa.

Project Duration and Funding

The project is funded by the German Foreign Office and ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and will run from January to December 2017.


From the beginning of June 2014 until the end of December 2017, Khaled Yacoub Oweis was a fellow in the project "The fragmentation of Syria. Halting the slide towards a failed state" sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Project Members

Head of Project: Isabelle Werenfels

Research Associate: Khaled Yacoub Oweis

Research Assistants: Pelican Mourad, Stefan Wolfrum

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