Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

Political Violence and Activism in Iraq

A Defence Mechanism Against Personal Uncertainty?

In October of 2019, mass protests erupted throughout Iraq and continue to lead to clashes between activist groups and state security forces. While specific demands and actors change over time, unrest is not a new phenomenon in a country that has been exposed to decades of extreme political violence and conflict. But what exactly motivates people to engage in such behavior?

European Union

Europe’s untapped sway in Syria

50 years of the Assad regime: An analysis of the European Union's policy towards Syria

November 16, 2020 marks 50 years to the military coup that brought Hafez Assad to power in Syria. Dubbed the “Corrective Movement” by his regime, the coup allowed the Assad family to consolidate the control of the Baath Party. Since 20 years Bashar Assad is in power. How did the European Union's policy towards Syria develop under his leadership? Have past lessons been learned? And what's still in for Europe in the Syrian conflict?

Anmarrfat, Wikimedia Commons

Questionable Conference in Damascus

Humanitarian Aid Payments for Syria Unmask Regime-Rhetoric: A Return of Refugees is Currently Impossible

Can millions of Syrian refugees return to their homeland soon? At least that is what the regime and its closest ally Russia proclaimed at a conference last week in Damascus.


4/8 Beirut Film

On August 4, 2020 a large amount of unstable stored ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. It is considered as one of the most powerful non-nuclear explosions in history. More than 200 people were killed, 6,500 injured and 300,000 were left homeless. Among them many refugees residing in Beirut.

Lebanon hosts an estimated 1.5 million Syrian and about 40,000 Iraqi refugees – a million tales. The documentary "4/8 Beirut" captures four of them, telling their trauma, fears and hopes before and after the devastating blast.

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.