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“The Battle for Syria” – Public Lecture by Dr Christopher Phillips (University of London)

A Department of Politics lecture
Date19 March 2018
Time18:00 to 19:30
PlaceNewman Red LT (F)

In this lecture, Dr Chris Phillips will provide an analysis of the crucial but underexplored roles foreign powers have played in shaping Syria’s ongoing civil war.

Most accounts of Syria’s brutal, long-lasting civil war focus on a domestic contest that began in 2011 and only later drew foreign nations into the escalating violence. Dr Phillips argues instead that the international dimension was never secondary but that Syria’s war was, from the very start, profoundly influenced by regional factors, particularly the vacuum created by a perceived decline of U.S. power in the Middle East. This precipitated a new regional order in which six external protagonists—the United States, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar—have violently competed for influence, with Syria a key battleground.

Biography: Dr Christopher Phillips is Reader in International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London, and associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. A prominent expert of Middle-East politics, he is the author of The Battle for Syria – International Rivalry in the New Middle East (Yale University Press, 2016/2018) and Everyday Arab Identity: The daily reproduction of the Arab World (Routledge, 2012). He has published in Third World Quarterly, Middle East Policy, Nations & Nationalism, and International Affairs, and his commentaries have appeared in The Guardian, Newsweek, Prospect, the Washington Post, and the Middle East Eye, among others.


ProviderDepartment of Politics

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