New publication from the WPCS | Local Elections: Is Syria Moving to Reassert Central Control?

MEDirections is delighted to share the new Research Project Report from the Wartime and Post Conflict in Syria project (WPCS).

WPCS provides operational and strategic analysis of prospects, challenges, trends and policy options in wartime and in preparation for post-conflict in Syria. WPCS is funded by the European Union and is implemented through a partnership between the Middle East Directions Programme/Syria Initiative and COAR (Center for Operational Analysis and Research).


Local Elections: Is Syria Moving to Reassert Central Control?

by Agnes Favier and Marie Kostrz

This paper provides an analysis of Syria’s local elections, held 16 September 2018, and concludes that they appear to have been used to equip local administrations to reassert regime control over a country fragmented by almost eight years of civil war. It demonstrates the unequal access to competition and to polls that prevailed for both candidates and voters, and the low level of civilian expectations regarding the elections’ process and results. The elections concluded with the return of the Baath party, the regime’s traditional tool of local level mobilization and social control, and the promotion of those who had remained loyal during the conflict.

How these local administrations, now benefiting from increased powers granted by newly adopted laws (Decree 107 of 2011, Decree 19 of 2015 and Law 10 of 2018), will enable the central power to pilot the reconstruction process at the local level?