Hijacking the Syrian Revolution

Date of Award

Fall 12-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Peter Schulman

Committee Member

Kurt T. Gaubatz

Committee Member

Don Zeigler

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 N36 2014


The civil war in Syria (started in March 2011) marks one of the greatest tragedies in the Middle East during the twenty-first century, and a fear that its destructive consequences may affect the entire region. The Syrian crisis coincides with the democratic wave that shaped the Arab Spring. The thesis will discuss the decision-making system and the primary actors in the Syrian crisis within the framework of three distinct phases. Each phase contributed to the hijacking of the peaceful demonstrations that sought freedom in a democratic state and of the dramatic developments on the Syrian stage. The first stage of the crisis started domestically with a peaceful demonstration founded on the principles of liberty and equality but that evolved rapidly into political upheaval and civil war. The second stage was the involvement of regional actors in the Syrian crisis motivated by various political or religious viewpoints. The third stage witnessed the involvement of the two global powers, the United States and Russia, and the revival of the Cold War. This thesis will discuss the Syrian Democratic Revolution, its short history, the actors, and their motivations, and of how these actors hijacked the Syrian Revolution and deviated it from the original peaceful goals. I conclude with a prognosis for the future of Syria.


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