Syria Initiative

MEDirections’ Syria Initiative aims to analyse the key local trends and dynamics of the country’s multi-layered conflict, to generate a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for post-conflict stabilisation and peace-building. It is based on fieldwork and a close partnership between the EUI/MEDirections and Syrian analysts. It started in 2016.

The research focuses on three main topics: transformations in local governance and networks of power in a changing national context; the war economy and its impact on future reconstruction; social and religious transformations in times of revolution and armed conflict.

The Syria Initiative aims to inform policymakers and practitioners in Europe and the Middle East and to promote knowledge sharing between Syrian and European analysts. It is also mentoring and providing support to junior Syrian analysts.

This Initiative is led by Agnes Favierwhose research interests focus on the political and military dynamics affecting Syria and its neighbours since 2011.

Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria project

In October 2018, the MEDirections Syria Initiative started a research project on Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria (WPCS).

For more information on the WPCS’s project, please visit the >> Project’s page <<


Syria Transition Challenges Project (November 2019-December 2020) 

The Syria Transition Challenges Project, in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Policy, The Syrian Center for Policy Research and Swiss Peace.  


Joseph Daher, State Institutions and Regime Networks as Service Providers in Syria, Research Project Report, June 2020, in English and Arabic.

Ziad Awad and Agnès Favier, Syrian People’s Council Elections 2020: The Regime’s Social Base Contracts, Research Project Report, October 2020, in English and Arabic

Abdullah Al-Jabassini, The Eighth Brigade: Striving for Supremacy in Southern Syria, Research Project Report, December 2020, in English

Latest publications:

Patrick Haenni, Arthur Quaesnay, Survivre à la disparition de l’Etat islamique: la stratégie de résilience du mouvement kurde syrien, (January 2020), Research Report, available in French

Ziad Awad, Deir al-Zor after Islamic State: Between Kurdish self-administration and a return of the Syrian regime, (2018), Research report, available in English and Arabic.

Jamil Mouawad, Lebanon’s Border Areas in Light of the Syrian War: New Actors, Old Marginalization, (2018), Research report.

Agnès Favier, Syria after Islamic State: ‘everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same’?, (2018), Research report (available in both English and Arabic).

Agnès Favier, Fadi Adleh, Local reconciliation agreements’ in Syria : a non-starter for peace building, (2017), Research report (available in both English and Arabic).

Agnès Favier, On the Debris of Aleppo: A Gloomy and Uncertain Reconstruction for Syria. An Analysis, (2017), Policy brief. 

Nagwan Abdelmaboud Mohamed Soliman, The door should be opened to Ahrar Al-Sham!, (2017), Policy Brief 

Agnès Favier, Increasing Vulnerability for the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: What’s Next?, (2016), Policy Brief.

Luigi Narbone, Agnès Favier, Virginie Collombier, Inside wars : local dynamics of conflicts in Syria and Libya, (2016), E-Book, both in English and Arabic