Syria: The Social Origins of the Uprising


25 Luglio 2018

Remembering the real causes of the eruption the popular uprising in Syria, which is increasingly turning into an international war

More than seven years after the beginning of the popular uprising in Syria, which increasingly turned into an international war, the causes of this eruption are often forgotten.

When they are discussed, the vast majority of authors reduce the uprising to a struggle against authoritarianism while neglecting its socio-economic roots almost entirely. Yet the way in which the relations of production in contemporary Syria constitute a blockage to the development of the productive forces is in fact a key element in understanding the popular base of the Syrian uprising.

The most important component of the movement was economically marginalized Sunni rural workers, along with urban employees and self-employed workers who have borne the brunt of neoliberal policies, particularly since Bashar al-Assad came to power in 2000.

The geography of the revolts in Idlib, Dar’a and other middle sized towns as well as in other rural areas exhibits a pattern: namely, all were historical strongholds of the Ba’th Party, and benefited from agricultural reforms in the 1960s.


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