Syria has experienced a catastrophic war that involves the Syrian autocratic regime, Syrian rebels, the self-styled Islamic State, al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organizations, Kurdish-led organizations, and foreign militias including Hezbollah, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the United States have also intervened. (1.United Institute of Peace, Fact sheet, 2020) In this academic paper, I will analyze the main challenges for democracy advancement in Syria. I will also expose strategies to improve democracy promotion and develop a proposal to de-escalate the conflict.
Freedom House considered Syria as the MENA region’s greatest tragedy in 2014. (2.-Freedom House in the world, 2014). In May 2021,Bashar al-Assad secured a fourth term as president for seven more years in elections that did not occur under the auspices of the United Nations-led political process and failed to adhere to standards for free and fair elections. (3.-Human Rights Watch, Syrian events of 2021)
One of the main challenges of democracy in Syria is the fact that the Syrian authoritarian regime is persistent. It has developed a strategy to maintain its elite in power in order to avoid change of regime. (4.Albrecht, H., & Schlumberger, O. 2004) The tragedy in Syria is a perfect example of how the prevalence of a coercive apparatus is one of the main factors that cause democracy’s failure in the MENA region (5.Bellin, E. 2004).
Ronald J. Fisher exemplifies how ethnocentrism triggers aggressive behaviors towards outgroups. Using a Freudian approach, he explains how parents who are members of the elite in society tend to be over concerned about social status and proper behavior and use harsh autocratic discipline to rear socially accepted children. In consequence, the frustration causes unacceptable faults that are projected onto powerless minority groups, while the aggression is redirected to outgroups in forms