Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System

At this event in which they talk about their new book, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts discuss how the world is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, yet the institutions responding to it remain virtually unchanged from those created in the post-war era. As neighbouring countries continue to bear the brunt of the Syrian catastrophe, European governments have enacted a series of ill-considered gestures, from shutting their borders to welcoming refugees without a plan for their safe passage or integration upon arrival. With a deepening crisis and a xenophobic backlash in Europe, it is time for a new vision for refuge. 

Going beyond the scenes of desperation which have become all too familiar in the past few years, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts look to show that international policy-makers should be focussing on delivering humane, effective and sustainable outcomes – both for Europe and for countries that border conflict zones. Refugees need more than simply food, tents and blankets, and research demonstrates that they can offer tangible economic benefits to their adopted countries if given the right to work and education. 

For details and full access to the video Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System, kindly follow the link. 



Bipartisan Roadmap for Syria-Turkey Conflict

Syria Study Group co-Chair Dana Stroul and Commission member Melissa Dalton discuss the group’s findings, the state of the Syria-Turkey conflict following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and international influence in the region.

To listen to the podcast Bipartisan Roadmap for Syria-Turkey Conflict, please follow the link.


Policy and Research Papers

Planning Ahead for a Postconflict Syria: Lessons from Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen

Though the conflict in Syria shows no signs of abating, and hopes for the Geneva II talks in January are dim, this paper argues it is never too early to start planning for peace. The paper examines three recent post-conflict transitions in the Middle East—Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen—and draws lessons for Syria. Among them are the following:

  • Drawing from the US experience in Iraq, Bennett argues that while elements of the current regime in Syria may need to go, the state must remain strong to promote stability and encourage post-conflict economic growth.
  • Drawing lessons from the Taif Agreement in Lebanon, Bennett argues that Syrians must avoid official sectarianism and focus on establishing a cohesive national identity.
  • Drawing from the role of the GCC in the Yemen transition, Bennett argues that regional cooperation, especially on the issue of Syrian refugees, will be critical to ensuring long term security and stability in the Middle East.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


L'Etat islamique, AN 1

Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, professeur associé à l'Institut d'Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement (IHEID) et directeur adjoint du Centre politique de sécurité de Genève (GCSP), livre son analyse de l'année qui s'est écoulée depuis que le porte-parole de l'Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant annonçait que son organisation devenait "l'Etat islamique" en juin 2014. En outre, l'auteur tire trois enseignements des développements depuis les évènements de l'été dernier: la constante progression de l’Etat islamique, l’absence criante pour l’heure d’une stratégie régionale ou internationale conséquente pour faire face au groupe et la nature révolutionnaire des changements en cours au Levant.

Vous pouvez consulter l'article ici.


La Syrie et la Libye: une crise partagée

Dans la région du Moyen-Orient et de l’Afrique du Nord, la Syrie et la Libye sont en proie à l'instabilité politique et se distinguent en tant que pays générateurs d'importants flux migratoires. Dans cette analyse, le visage syrien et libyen de la migration africaine est présenté avec un regard particulier sur le contexte régional dans lequel il se situe. En particulier, il s’agit de faire état de l’intensification de la pression migratoire de la Syrie et de la Libye sur leurs pays voisins. 

La crise humanitaire et sécuritaire qui fait rage en Syrie et en Lybie est un lourd fardeau que partage la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord dans son ensemble. Bien que les naufrages en Méditerranée fassent l’objet d’une attention médiatique accrue, ils ne sont pas la seule conséquence de l’instabilité dans la région. Des conséquences aussi tragiques peuvent être repérées au Liban, en Jordanie, en Turquie, en Tunisie et en Egypte.

Vous pouvez lire l'article ici.


Violent Non-State Actors and Complementary Governance: What ISIS, Hizballah and FARC have in Common

In the absence of a strong state, insurgents, traffickers or tribal warlords may provide political and socioeconomic goods through arrangements we characterize as "complementary governance". When formulating an effective response to this security challenge, policymakers and researchers must account for the complex connections and interactions between multiple non-state governing entities.

You can read the full article here.


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.

For the full report on Social conditions in southern Syria: a source of strength for change follow the link.


Our fast-growing cities are becoming hotbeds of unrest. It doesn’t have to be that way

This policy brief from the World Economic Forum is drawing attention to the results of the Habitat III conference, which took place in Ecuador from 17-20 October and the promising policy ideas with potential to benefit billions of people living in cities. the author points out that in the New Urban Agenda, the document to guide the next 20 years of urbanization, the security and urbanization strategists are called to talk to each other as it has become indisputable that the way cities develop has a huge impact on security. 

Find the full brief on Our fast-growing cities are becoming hotbeds of unrest. It doesn’t have to be that way. 


Governing Rojava: Layers of Legitimacy in Syria

Syria is without functioning government in many areas but not without governance. In the northeast, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has announced its intent to establish the federal region of Rojava. The PYD took control of the region following the Syrian regime’s handover in some Kurdish-majority areas and as a consequence of its retreat from others. In doing so, the PYD has displayed pragmatism and strategic clarity, and has benefited from the experience and institutional development of its affiliate organization, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PYD now seeks to further consolidate its power and to legitimize itself through the provision of security, services and public diplomacy; yet its local legitimacy remains contested. 

For full access to the report Governing Rojava: Layers of Legitimacy in Syria, kindly follow the link.


Arab Uprisings and Armed Forces: Between Openness and Resistance

Since late 2010, an unprecedented wave of protests has swept across much of the Arab world. The aim of this paper is to examine the role of the armed forces when confronted with anti-regime uprisings that demand greater political freedoms or even regime change. Drawing on the cases of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, it argues that the degree of institutionalization of the armed forces and their relationship to society at large can account for different responses to pro-reform uprisings.

To access the full report Arab Uprisings and Armed Forces: Between Openness and Resistance, kindly click on the link.

This paper is part of DCAF's SSR Papers series. Click on the link for more DCAF publications on security sector reform.


Climat/environnement : des signaux faibles sur le plan sécuritaire ?

Ce rapport d’étude a pour objectif de comprendre dans quelle mesure le climat et l’environnement peuvent-ils – et ont-ils pu – contribuer à l’émergence des crises violentes. Il interroge donc le potentiel, encore mal compris, des changements climatiques et environnementaux à jouer le rôle de multiplicateur de menaces ou d’amplificateur de risques. Il s’appuie notamment sur trois cas d’étude pour évaluer leurs responsabilités dans le déclenchement de crises passées ou en cours (Syrie, Darfour, Nigéria)

Pour accéder à l'étude Climat/environnement : des signaux faibles sur le plan sécuritaire ?, veuillez suivre le lien. 


Targeting Vulnerabilities: The Impact of the Syrian War and Refugee Situation on Trafficking in Persons – A Study of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq

The ICMPD study Targeting Vulnerabilities: The Impact of the Syrian War and Refugee Situation on Trafficking in Persons – A Study of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq assesses the effects of the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis on trafficking in persons (TIP) in Syria and the surrounding region. The five countries under study - Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq were selected on the basis of the magnitude of refugee and internal displacement.

For full access to the paper, Targeting Vulnerabilities: The Impact of the Syrian War and Refugee Situation on Trafficking in Persons – A Study of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, kindly follow the link. 


Spetsnaz, contractuels, volontaires : qui sont les « hommes de guerre » russes en Syrie ?

Cette note met en relief un aspect peu étudié de l’intervention russe en Syrie : la présence de forces expéditionnaires engagées sur les différentes lignes de front syriennes, aux côtés des forces armées régulières. 

La Syrie constitue, en effet, le premier champ de bataille sur lequel la Russie a, de manière coordonnée et à une vaste échelle, déployé et supervisé un contingent de forces expéditionnaires comprenant les nouvelles Forces d’opérations spéciales (SSO) et différentes catégories de forces spéciales (Spetsnaz) ; la police militaire nouvellement créée ; des conseillers et techniciens militaires, ainsi que des « volontaires » et des « contractuels » (kontraktniki ) et autres paramilitaires travaillant pour des sociétés militaires privées.

Pour accéder à cet article, veuillez suivre le lien. 


Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in the Syria Crisis

As the civil war in Syria further deteriorates, accounts of systematic human rights abuses continue to emerge, including torture, starvation, and widespread sexual violence against civilians and combatants. More than five million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries in search of safety, yet they continue to face challenges of poverty, discrimination, as well as sexual violence and exploitation. Some attention has been given to women and girls who have suffered sexual violence in Syria and in displacement; however, less is known about male survivors, including ways to meet their needs.

This exploratory study examined sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis and their access to services in Jordan, Lebanon, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The findings and recommendations presented in the report offer a starting point for unpacking and addressing a complex, under-investigated issue.

For full access to the report, Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in the Syria Crisis, please kindly follow the link. 


L’intervention turque en Syrie: entre droit et diplomatie

Lancée le 20 janvier 2018, l'opération Rameau d’olivier était destinée à chasser les Unités de protection du peuple kurde (YPG) qui contrôlent la région depuis 2012. En effet, les YPG sont considérés par la Turquie comme le prolongement militaire du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK), responsable de nombreuses attaques terroristes sur son territoire.

La majorité des États, tout comme le Conseil de sécurité, n’ont pas explicitement condamné l’opération militaire turque, ce qui suggère une acceptation tacite des arguments turcs. Cependant, l’examen de la Résolution 2401 du Conseil de sécurité montre que celui-ci cherche à répondre, de manière indirecte, aux arguments avancés par la Turquie et aux inconsistances juridiques qu’ils soulèvent.

Afin d'accéder à l'article, L’intervention turque en Syrie: entre droit et diplomatie, veuillez suivre le lien.


The Children of ISIS Foreign Fighters: Are Protection and National Security in Opposition?

One year ago, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was declared “defeated.” Since then, much attention has been given to the fate of its male foreign fighters, in particular the security concerns regarding their return. Less attention has been given, however, to the children of these fighters—both those born in Iraq and Syria and those brought by their parents to the region.

To access the full paper, The Children of ISIS Foreign Fighters: Are Protection and National Security in Opposition?, kindly follow the link. 


Palestinian Refugees of Syria’s Yarmouk Camp: Challenges and Obstacles to Return

Secondary displacement from Syria’s Yarmouk Camp to Lebanon has rendered Palestinian refugees more vulnerable and compounded their lack of protection and assistance. Their dire living conditions in Lebanon's refugee camps push them to seek ways to leave the country but most are reluctant to return to Syria for security and other reasons. Without a genuine political change in Syria, deals of reconciliation and compromise will have no credibility, and talks of refugees’ return will remain hollow.

For full access to For full access to Palestinian Refugees of Syria’s Yarmouk Camp: Challenges and Obstacles to Return, kindly follow the link. 


Sweden’s Regional Strategy for the Syria Crisis 2016 – 2020

The aim of the activities within the scope of this strategy is to contribute to strengthening the resilience of the Syrian population and of vulnerable groups in Syria's neighboring countries that are being severely affected by the conflict. The strategy will also contribute to strengthening democracy and gender equality and to greater respect for human rights in Syria and for refugees from Syria in neighboring countries. The strategy will apply to the period 2016–2020 and will comprise a total of SEK 1.7 billion.


Other Documents

SIPRI Yearbook 2014

The 45th edition of the SIPRI Yearbook includes coverage of developments during 2013 in

  • The conflict in Syria
  • Armed conflict
  • Peace operations and conflict management
  • Military expenditure and arms production
  • International arms transfers
  • World nuclear forces
  • Nuclear arms control and non-proliferation
  • Reducing security threats from chemical and biological materials
  • Conventional arms control
  • Dual-use and arms trade controls

For more information and to access the Yearbook, click here.

Other Document

Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East - eSeminar Summary n°6

eseminar sumamry

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) hosted the third in a series of eight online seminars focusing on the theme of “Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.” The event examined the regional refugee crisis fuelled by conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, with a particular focus on Syrian refugees. The distinguished panellists discussed how the refugee and IDP crisis should factor into peacebuilding approaches throughout the region. Some of the key topics and questions that arose as part of the discussion included the ability of refugees to play a constructive role in peacebuilding, the potential for refugee flows to create conflict and instability in the bordering countries, the economic conditions facing refugees as well as the educational opportunities available to refugee children in neighboring countries.

To access the eSeminar n°6 - Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East, kindly follow the link.

Other Document

Les Nouvelles du GRIP 1-2012

GRIP's Newsletter.

Other Document

ILAC Rule of Law Assessment Report

This report details the findings of a team of experts from member organisations of the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) based on an assessment of justice sector institutions in Syria.

For full access to the report, ILAC Rule of Law Assessment Report, kindly follow the link. 

Other Document

Les enfants-soldats : un fléau qui perdure

Quel que soit leur rôle, les enfants-soldats sont exposés à des risques élevés de violence, que ce soit en participant directement aux hostilités, en tant que victimes indirectes des conflits, ou comme témoins des exactions. Ce papier revient sur la persistance du recrutement d'enfants-soldats, la prévention de l’embrigadement et la sanction aux manquements.

Pour accéder à l'intégralité de l'article Les enfants-soldats : un fléau qui perdure, veuillez suivre le lien. 

Other Document