Supporting Syrian Civil Society Organizations

Addressing the challenges faced by Syrian CSOs and promoting their self-determination

The research tends to identify and document the current challenges faced by civil society actors active within Syria and run by Syrians, based on the experiences of the past 2 years. It was done through producing and distributing quantitative surveys digitally through different networks in Syria. The research also identifies and documents proposed solutions to mitigate the acknowledged challenges.


Youth Revolution or Identity-Forming Movement?

An Anatomy of Mass Protests in Iraq

The emergence of a common Iraqi identity has always been hampered by the great heterogeneity in the population. However, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have united in repeated protests, the largest since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Meanwhile, the elites are attempting to hold on to as much of their power as possible.


How the Yazidi Perceive the Responsibility to Protect and the Actions of the International Community

After the genocidal acts by ISIS, Yazidis are concerned to restore their livelihoods back in Sinjar under international and local protection.

In this study, Kerstin Tomiak explores the question how the Yazidi community perceives the actions and responsibilities of the international community after the group was targeted by ISIS. Six years after the Yazidi community in northern Iraq was targeted by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and subjected to a genocidal campaign, the survivors of the genocide still cannot return to their ancient home of Sinjar but live mostly in the Dohuk-governorate in the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq. With the help of interviews with 28 Yazidi women, Kerstin Tomiak explores the question how the Yazidi community perceives the actions of the international community to protect the group. The author comes to the conclusion, that under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P), which has the explicit aim to protect vulnerable groups from genocide and the worst forms of political violence, the international community, as well as the Iraqi and Kurdish governments, have the responsibility to rebuild Sinjar and help the Yazidi to restore their livelihoods as well as that post-genocide reconciliation might be necessary with those who are perceived as bystanders and enablers of the violence.

Assessment of the new refugee movements from Lebanon

The consequences of the economic and financial crises in Lebanon as well as the deepening social crisis are perpetuating the refugees' efforts in the region.

The worsening economic and political crisis in Lebanon is leading to increased efforts to flee the country. Since the end of August, the EU member state Cyprus in particular appears to have been a target for Syrian and Palestinian refugees and, more recently, for Lebanese. In addition, more and more Syrian citizens are leaving Lebanon and are returning to Syria despite the precarious conditions in their home country. The Lebanon office and the Syria / Iraq office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation have analyzed current developments and summarized them in a report.


Exploring The Impact Of The Pandemic On the Lives Of Syrians And Iraqis

The Syria / Iraq KAS office publishes an anthology consisting of 12 pieces written by Syrian and Iraqi individuals, addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the Middle East region, specifically Syria and Iraq.


Assads neue politische Elite

Die Volksratswahlen 2020 und das Ende traditioneller Führungskader in Syrien

Am 19. Juli 2020 fanden in Syrien zum dritten Mal seit Ausbruch des Bürgerkrieges 2011 Parlamentswahlen statt.

Life after the Caliphate: Human Security Challenges in Syria and Iraq

The authors Benedetta Berti and Elizabeth Tsurkov analyze human security challenges in ISIS ‘liberated areas’ in both Syria and Iraq.

In their study, Benedetta Berti and Elizabeth Tsurkov urge that societies living in these areas still face major social, economic, security and especially political challenges. The authors argue that the reconstruction and stabilization process must focus both on repairing the damage done by ISIS and on addressing the political context that led to the rise of the group in the first place. Sustainable regional stability can therefore only be achieved by an approach that focuses on transitional justice while also being region-sensitive, taking into account the different challenges the communities are facing. As the issue of governance is centrally linked to that of reconstruction and early recovery, long-term institution-building and anti-corruption measures are also key to preserve the re-established civilian infrastructure.

KAS Syria/Iraq

„From Beirut to Baghdad ─ Konrad’s Journey through the Middle East“ (Episode 2)

Interview with Hafsa Halawa, scholar at the Middle East Institute and an independent consultant for the MENA region on the protests, the governmental crisis and the impact of Covid-19 in Iraq

„From Beirut to Baghdad ─ Konrad’s Journey through the Middle East“ is a biweekly podcast by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation’s Syria/Iraq-Office. Based in Beirut, the podcast discusses current political issues in the region with the foundation’s on the ground partners in Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East. Each episode sheds light on up-to-date political, social and economic topics, and provides insights into life and work from Beirut to Baghdad.

The Failure of Reconstruction in Mosul: Root Causes from 2003 to the Post-ISIS Period

This report from the KAS partner organisation IRIS addresses the root causes of the failure of reconstruction in Mosul between 2003 and the present.

Since the first days of the post-2003 era, reconstruction and overall responsiveness to the local populace have taken a backseat to a chaotic, violent struggle for control over the city between many different actors, including Sunni Arab political factions, the two main Kurdish blocs, the Americans and Coalition, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Iraqi Security Forces, and most recently, the Popular Mobilization Forces and their political proxies. These political/military entities are often internally divided and shift alliances quickly, rendering the basic structure of power and governance unclear even to political insiders. This competition and incoherence since 2003 to the present day has resulted in pervasive insecurity and a depletion of the resources allocated for development, leaving the majority of Mosul’s citizens feeling left out of a high-stakes game.


De-escalation zones in Syria

Background and status quo of a paradox. In fact, the protection for the Syrian population that had been promised when the zones had been created was not provided at any time.

In May 2017, as part of the Astana peace talks, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed on the establishment of four so-called de-escalation zones in Syria. These zones were designed to be areas in which all hostilities should cease and in which civilians should be protected from attacks. The deal had been preceded by a massive deployment of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, followed by increasing international pressure on Syria and its ally Russia.