Macquarie University
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Transnational mobilisation and escalating conflict in Syria: an anatomy of Syria's exiled political opposition

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posted on 2022-03-29, 00:22 authored by Jamie Michael Travis
The master frame of the “Syrian Civil War” has dominated the public discourse, implying that it is essentially domestic in nature and bound by the territory of the Syrian state. This state-centric view has underscored most research on civil war. However, domestic-level analyses provide insufficient explanations. The escalation of the Syrian conflict displays a substantially more complicated picture characterised by ambiguous dynamics, myriad identities, and diverse private and collective interests and behaviours that transcend the modern Syrian state. This study responds to an identified weakness in the research on diaspora mobilisation and engagement in civil conflicts. It is built upon two questions. Firstly, how does conflict escalation mobilise Syria’s exiled political opposition? Secondly, how does transnational mobilisation of the exiled political opposition play a causal role in conflict escalation? Set within a theoretical analysis of diaspora and transnational mobilisation in politics and conflict, a single case study of the principal political opposition, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, is conducted. The process-tracing method is applied to examine hypothesised mechanisms of transnational mobilisation and their relationship to conflict escalation. The mechanisms of transitional brokerage, strategic framing and outbidding deployed by the exiled political opposition are shown to be consequences of conflict escalation. The exiled political opposition’s approach to resource mobilisation, and lobbying and persuasion are shown to advocate and exacerbate conflict. Overall the study makes a contribution towards understanding the transnational dynamics of contentious politics and conflict escalation in Syria.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. Diasporas and transnationals in "homeland" politics and conflict -- Chapter 2. Tracing the transnational mobilisation of the National Syrian Coalition -- Chapter 3. Tracing the impacts of mobilisation on conflict escalation -- Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 114-131

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jumana Bayeh


Copyright Jamie Michael Travis 2015. Copyright disclaimer:






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