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Photo of Isabel Bramsen.

Isabel Bramsen

Associate senior lecturer

Photo of Isabel Bramsen.

How did the Syrian uprising become militarised?

Author

  • Isabel Bramsen

Summary, in English

Many researchers treat violent and non-violent resistance as two strategies that groups choose between based on rational calculation of their perceived success. However, Syrian activists did not experience the turn from non-violent to violent resistance as a rational choice, or even a choice at ali. Based on interviews with activists and citizen journalists, this article shows how emotional mechanisms of revenge and fear caused by the crackdown by the regime drew activists and non-activists to take up arms. Motivational and emotional factors alone cannot account for the militarisation of the uprising. Drawing comparisons to the uprisings in Bahrain and Tunisia, where protests did not become militarised despite regime repression, the article shows how the availability of weapons and the involvement of groups with experience in military action not only enabled but also to a large extent promoted the militarisation of the uprising. Taking its point of departure in these findings, the article reflects upon the potential policy implications for how to prevent militarisation in other uprisings.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year

2020

Language

English

Pages

20-26

Publication/Series

Orient

Volume

61

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Deutsches Orient-Institut, Hamburg

Topic

  • Political Science

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0030-5227