Things Fall Apart: Rebel Fragmentation in Syria's Civil War (2011-2017)

Patrick Steen Pedersen, Olivier Walther

Publikation: Working paperForskning


In rebel-held Syria, an array of rebel organisations are nominally allied in their fight against the Syrian government and yet they remain internally divided. Rather than being a rare occurrence, fragmentation within rebel movements is a common phenomenon with wide-ranging consequences for its chances of success. The objective of this paper is to explain what has caused fragmented to occur in Syria from 2011 to 2017. Using a three-dimensional conceptualisation of rebel fragmentation, we identify and analyse the causes of rebel fragmentation within the Syrian rebel movement and illustrate how these dynamics have influenced the overall degree of fragmentation throughout four phases of the conflict. The study finds that the splintering of the Syrian rebel movement is a second-order effect of historical, structural and geopolitical factors generally outside the immediate control of the non-state actors
UdgiverSSRN: Social Science Research Network
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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