The Spring of Our Discontent: The Roots, Stakes and Aftermath of the Syrian Civil War

The Spring of Our Discontent: The Roots, Stakes and Aftermath of the Syrian Civil War

The Romanian Institute for Europe-Asia Studies (IRSEA) is an independent, autonomous, not-for-profit Romanian think-tank centered on “second track diplomacy” and Area Studies. IRSEA was established in 2008 by H.E. Ambassador Gheorghe SĂVUICĂ and is in partnership with the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE), Romania. At IRSEA, we are encouraging academics, researchers and professionals from Europe and Asia to work together for a more robust interaction between the two continents, in the spirit of mutual respect and partnership.



The Romanian Institute for Europe-Asia Studies (IRSEA) would like to cordially invite academics, researchers and professionals in Peace-Making and Conflict Resolution, Area Studies, International Relations, Political Science, International Law, Security Studies, Journalism or other adjacent fields to contribute to our new project regarding the Syrian conflict and its geopolitical side-effects upon the larger regional order: “The Spring of Our Discontent: The Roots, Stakes and Aftermath of the Syrian Civil War”.

The research findings will be published in an edited volume in the first quarter of 2021.

The project is part of IRSEA’s FOCUS Middle East & North Africa Programme and seeks to create informed, pertinent and thought-provoking analyses addressing a volatile region facing both challenges and opportunities for the Europe-Asia political, economic and social linkages.

A fundamental pivot of our research relies on the juxtaposition of historical causes and nowadays generalized strife, arguing that the roots of the turmoil should not only be placed in the immediate past – the Arab Spring – but should be looked upon as far back as the Sykes-Picot agreement and the disequilibrium it inflicted in the post-Ottoman Middle East. When looking at the current state of affairs, we believe that the analysis should take into consideration not only (geo)political issues, but also elements pertaining to the economic and social spheres. Such elements are highly relevant to explaining the dynamics that led to this point and to explaining how they could influence a possible reconstruction of Syria. Finally, a crucial question that needs to be addressed by the project regards the tension between local power-players (such as the Kurds, the Assad government and various rebel groups), regional contenders (such as Turkey, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel) and global actors which have their own agenda in the conflict (the United States, the European Union and Russia).

The project is expected to significantly contribute to the field of peace-making, conflict resolution and security studies in the Middle East by providing a better understanding of deep historical, economic and social causes which – together with political grievances – generated a chaotic conflict with no visible end in sight.

The research findings are expected to provide practical solutions to support the peace making and conflict resolution process at the level of the European Union and other regional and grassroots organisations.


Requirements and Submission Guidelines:

- Scholars, researchers and professionals in relevant fields are invited to submit an Abstract no longer than 300 words along with a Bio no longer than 150 wordsbeforeAugust 28, 2020. Both Abstract and Bio should be written using Times New Roman, 12 points, 1.5 spaced.

- Based on the review process, confirmation for the accepted abstracts will be sent by September 4, 2020.

- The deadline for submitting the full paper is December 11, 2020. Full papers shall clearly and academically reflect the proposed topic, include paranthetical (in-text) references and count between 6000 and 8000 words, Times New Roman, 12 points, 1.5 spaced.

- Subject to final acceptance by IRSEA’s academic committee and a copyright agreement of the author, the selected papers will be published in an edited volume prefaced by IRSEA’s President, H.E. Ambassador Gheorghe SĂVUICĂ within the first quarter of 2021.



Applications are welcomed to Late submissions will not be accepted.

IRSEA welcomes contributions from both senior and junior-level (postgraduates with a proven record in the field) scholars, researchers and professionals and values the participation of local-based experts (Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan or Israel), acknowledging the importance of a localized, stakeholder-based, transparent and consensual peace-making and conflict resolution process.