Managing the change process of Syria’s political system

Waiting for a new political environment that summarises almost two years of the Syrian crisis, which started with a social movement and ended up with a violent armed struggle, searching for politics amid the developments of the situation on the ground forms the pivot point for the post crisis phase, or even for the mechanisms of exiting it. The developments showed a number of tendencies that surfaced over the political life, as we find:

  • The main concern results from the nature of the crisis and the increase in extremism, for there is fear that this would lead to a shrinkage in political life space, which is what is really happening. On another side, there are fears from experiences that emerged in the regional surrounding, like Iraq, Libya and Yemen, which materialised in imposing a state of political change by military force and various pressures.
  • Non-clarity with regards to political future, because both conflicting parties confirm the certainty of their victory, with each side having its visible capability on the ground, and its strong allies. There is a part of Syrians who cannot foresee the political future of the country, because of the tight media polarisation in this issue.
  • On another note, there is a worry of the political transition process, especially if it is left suspended and available to be kidnapped by any of the parties, in the future. Syria needs a formula for solution in the near future and another for governance on the long term that guarantees a balance between the parties, in addition to redrawing the roles of those institutions that enjoyed a large space within the political decision arena, historically, like the army.
  • The shape of the transitional process may not appeal to all parties but, in the end, none of the parties is able to impose its opinion by force and there must be a negotiated exit. The political form must be consensual, with international guarantees, and not international with local guarantees. This means that we need to study the most appropriate sequence of the political transition process in order to guarantee the best change towards democracy and not the best way of change so that we enable the militarily winning party of justifying their future tyranny.
  • The transitional process itself is in need, according to some Syrian opinions, to look into the political regime, as “the regime puts barriers before individuals” to guarantee the safety of the society from “individual excesses”. Therefore, individual grievances do not form a criterion for determining how bad or good the regime is. Moreover, the political system should be viewed through the judicial system and how it would achieve public and national interests. As a result, the relation of that interest with citizenship is a sensitive issue, and there is a need for a precise definition of citizenship. In national states, individual rights should not contradict with the upper national interest. However, being strict about the public interest is faced by obsessions about the question of liberties, for some ideas lean towards the need to separate the concept of individual freedoms from political struggles, so that those concepts wouldn’t threaten each political milestone with regards to power devolution or elections.
  • Some ideas lean towards a “flexible state” in contrast with the “totalitarian – central state” that has prevailed throughout the previous decades. The “flexible state” would be able to absorb ethnic, religious and sectarian variety in Syria, as it would be closer to “Federalism”. This concept is being faced, however, with the need of non-centralism and not federalism – as each area would be given the right to administer its affairs according to criteria and bases that are nationally agreed upon. This opinion believes that the local administration law is a most important democracy pillars, should it be properly organised.
  • Despite the size and complexities of the Syrian political dossier, no new political currents has emerged, in the objective sense. Political plurality that formed a principle demand since the start of the crisis took a shape that does not coincide with the livelihood of the Syrian reality, and remained within the framework of the old political fabrication.
  • Some opinions view future Syria through a civil and democratic state that bypasses the religious and sectarian form, as a contrast with the theological state, and in which the separation of authorities and the principle of peaceful power devolution are clear cut. Despite the fact that this view prevails over what is called “the interior opposition”, the details of the civil state remain suspended in the wait for political agendas and dialogue between all parties.

On the other hand, a sizeable proportion of the political opposition held the political regime responsible for all the repercussions of the crisis, regarding it as part and parcel of the problem, and that most developments are linked to its positions and actions, whereas some parties, especially those who try to play mediatory political roles between the two parts of the struggle, that this opinion is an excuse for the opposition not to present a clear vision. Many of its parties emerged with a range of demands, but without a clear intellectual approach, and their actions remained  elitist as they had no popular dimension, which some blame on the regime practices for over four decades, whereas the opposition outside Syria has been subject to foreign pressures and formed, as some say, an international strategic tool that targets Syria.

Thank you for your feedback


  1. Mona Butrous

    That will depend on the final episode of these two years of chaos,if Syria ended up with Islamist regime,that will put the political life of Syrians for the next few generations on hold,till the next revolution.
    In a better scenario ,if a coalition government is formed out of reconciliation,this will take a few years for a sound political Syrian system to emerge,unless if we are lucky to have a real nationalist who are willing to unite the different parties and work for justice,freedom and equality.
    There is no need for a shining slogans or unrealistic aims,the average Syrian man want a decent life ,education for his children and guarantee for his future,he is not asking for the moon.
    IMHO corruption and lies should be eliminated from the economy while establishing a sound transitional political system,no one will buy any new ideas if theft and bribe are a continuous methods for economical success.

  2. Observer

    The two slogans that you have put up are
    Remember Ben Franklin: those who eschew freedom for security will get neither.
    Freedom entails challenging the status quo. If you want stability at the expense of freedom you will get nothing.
    40 Years of pursuing stability has gotten us into this mess.
    Finally, the whole premise of this site is that there is still room for reform; I respectfully disagree. The regime is incapable of reform.
    Last but not least, freedom of speech is precisely to allow people to say unpleasant things. Posting only so called constructive comments is censorship for it presupposes a knowldge of what is constructive.

    How about a Federal Middle East where communities live together in separate entities. Clearly the communities cannot stand each other and have not come up with a definition of citizenship.

    Telling the Kurds they are Arabs is a non starter for example.
    Let them have their state.

شارك برأيك

يسرنا قراءة إضافاتكم، لكن مع التنويه أن النشر على الموقع سيقتصر على المشاركات البناءة و النوعية، و لا نضمن أن يتم إدراج كل المشاركات