Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Susan L. Woodward

Subject Categories

Political Science


civil war; Syria


This project seeks to answer the following questions: Why did the 2011 Syrian Revolution transition into a civil war? What contributed to the popularity of rebel efforts in the countryside? This case study on the Syrian Civil War begins by characterizing key events in the current civil war setting in order to characterize the nature of participation on the insurgent side of the conflict. Further, this project sets out to identify key events and actors in their respective geographic and demographic frameworks in order to identify the nature of participants and their respective characteristics. I will ultimately draw a connecting line between the nature and degree of insurgent participation by speculating on grievances. The latter process is identified as originating in the re-arrangement of the domestic economy. In other words, I argue that the local origins of the insurgency are a product of the breakdown in the dynamics between group actors and their respective economic institutions. The last discussion will allow the author to offer insight into the relationship between macro-level determinants of civil war and the micro-foundations of identification with and/or participation among insurgent efforts. The nature and origins of political grievances will be discussed at the end of this project.