Social conditions in southern Syria: a source of strength for change

This paper discusses the social conditions in southern Syria - and in particular Deraa, Quneitra, and the region of Hauran - in an attempt to predict the fate of the region in the face of ongoing conflict. Can the region withstand the onslaught, buttressed by social and demographic factors that support the revolution against Bashar al-Assad’s regime and allies, or will the regime succeed in breaching the region’s defences by taking advantage of weaknesses engendered by corruption and urbanisation? While familial and tribal networks in southern Syria have been a source of strength and solidarity, traditional structures are an insufficient political solution for the region. Facing numerous challenges, southern Syria risks the permanent alteration of its social fabric.

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2015

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