“Violent extremism” must be reconsidered from the standpoint of local women, rather than from a “narrow, Western-centric, and male-dominated” perspective—a move that reveals, in the context of Iraq and Syria, the inclusion under that label of violence attributed not only to Salafi-Jihadist groups but also to government forces, “government-affiliated militias,” and patriarchy.
“[W]hether public opinion is a constraint on military action or an effect of threats strongly depends on the primary objective of the military operation and whether or not the threats to a state’s national interests are clear and tangible.”
Limiting both state violence and activist violence in the context of a civil resistance struggle is important to movement success.
The Jordan Compact is a work program for Syrian refugees created by the Government of Jordan and numerous international partners that frames refugees not just as “objects of humanitarian care” but as “unused human capital, which can be made productive.”
Foreign military presence increases the likelihood of terror attacks, especially suicide bombings like this week's attack against U.S. troops in Syria.
Liberal democracies often justify their reliance on military force as necessary to maintaining freedom, as well as frame security threats in terms of the dangers posed to the everyday lives of regular people, such that individuals will be willing to give up some freedom for personal security.
Context: Seven years into the Syrian civil war, the exact scale and impact of mental health trauma are not well-known,
Syrian civil society has become better organized and more tightly interconnected, providing a valuable resource to UN negotiators and others working towards peace. The Civil Society Support Room (CSSR) is helping to bring civil society activists together so that their local knowledge and expertise can be better incorporated into the peace talks.