Syria Transition Challenges Project

A multilateral dialogue and research project that aims to build common ground between the European, Russian, Turkish and US views on the issues of Reform, Refugees Return, and Reconstruction in Syria (3R). This project started in March 2019 and is part of the GCSP Diplomatic Dialogue.

Project team

Colonel Christian Bulhamann photo

Christian Bühlmann, project supervisor

Colonel Christian Bühlmann is seconded from the Swiss Armed Forces as a contribution to peace, security and stability. As the Head of Diplomatic Dialogue, he is specifically committed to the values of neutrality, impartiality, independence and inclusiveness.

Prior to this assignment, he gained extensive experience in the area of defence policy, politics, and military strategy as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Swiss Armed Forces. He has over 30 years of combined civilian and military experience.

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Ibrahim Abdulla photoAbdulla Ibrahim, Project lead

Abdulla M. Erfan is a Senior Advisor to the Diplomatic Dialogue Department at the GCSP and the lead research in the Syrian Transition Challenges Project. Abdulla has more than 10 years of experience in multilateral dialogues and research projects management. Abdulla is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Institute in Geneva where he researches militia formation in the Syrian civil war.

Abdulla’s research focus on militias behavior, new models of peace making, post war institutional reforms, economic sanctions, political economy of transitions, and international powers policies in the Middle East.

Abdulla advised the World Bank Institute and holds an MA from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies of the University of Notre Dame. 

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Alexandra MatasAlexandra Matas, co-Project lead

Alexandra Matas is a Head of the Effective Governance  cluster at the GCSP. Alexandra is directing Effective Governance courses in both English and French for State officials from different countries including Myanmar, Iraq, Cameroon and others. She also contributes to a number of GCSP courses including the European Security Course (ESC), Leadership in International Security Course (LISC), Swiss Military Professional Officers Training (SPOT) and others.

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Constance DumontConstance Dumont, Research Assistant and project coordinator

Constance is a research assistant and project coordinator for the Syria Transition Challenges Project and contributes to a project on the East Mediterranean at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy where she works since 2018.

She holds a Master’s degree in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where she specialized in the Middle East and Africa. Her research focused on the security nexus of states in the Sahel and the paradox of ungoverned spaces in the development of the Mali War.

Her first assignment in Geneva was for the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), where she worked on eleven thematic mandates, drafting communications and observation reports for the Special Rapporteurs on the Migrants, Indigenous Peoples and Slavery mandates.

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Ladina LangeLadina Lange, Research Assistant

Ladina Lange is a research assistant for the Syria Transition Challenges Project. She has a background in linguistics and social studies. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Historical Linguistics and Arabic at the University of Zurich, she did her Master in Arab World Studies with a focus on Arabic Linguistics at the University of Vienna. During her studies she spent an extended time in Arabic speaking countries.

Prior to joining the GCSP in 2020, she interned at the Embassy of Switzerland to the UAE and Bahrain, covering the regional developments in the Gulf countries and learning about representing Swiss interests and foreign policy. Her interests include political transition in the MENA region, the politization of religious and linguistic communities, and effective facilitation of diplomatic dialogue.

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Partners

European University Insitute Logo Syrian Centre for Policy Research logo SwissPeace Logo
European University Institute
Syrian Centre for Policy Research
Swisspeace

 

Publications

Discussion Papers

Reconciliation Initiatives in Daraa: A Testimony for History (English), Haytham Manna, October 2020

Can Russia live with an ongoing conflict in Syria? Mapping out Trends Among Russian Foreign Policy Elites (English), Andrey Baklanov and Leonid Isaev, October 2020

Security, Stability, and Counter-Terrorism in Idlib: A Turkish Perspective (English), Serhat Erkmen, October 2020

The Syrian National Army: Formation, Challenges, and Outlook (English), Nawar Shaban, October 2020

Russia’s Increasing Stalemate in Southwest Syria (English), Alexey Khlebnikov, October 2020

The Syrian National Army (SNA): Structure, Functions, and Three Scenarios for its Relationship with Damascus (English), Ömer Özkizilcik, October 2020

Syria in the US and Israeli debate on Iran (English), Shira Efron, October 2020

Bridging Geneva and Astana: The Best Hope for Sustained De-escalation in Syria (English), Mona Yacoubian, October 2020

Is Escalation between France and Turkey in the Middle East and Beyond Inescapable? (English), Dorothée Schmid, October 2020

America's 'Turkey Dilemma' in the Mediterranean (English), Jon Alterman, October 2020

America's 'Turkey Dilemma' in the Mediterranean (Russian), Jon Alterman, October 2020

The Battle for the Tribes in Northeast Syria (English), Nicholas A. Heras, October 2020

Russia and Issues of HTS and Tanzim Hurras ad-Din (English), Anton Mardasov, October 2020

Partial Local Autonomy in Southern Syria: Conditions, Durability, and Replicability (English), Alexander Decina, October 2020

Partial Local Autonomy in Southern Syria: Conditions, Durability, and Replicability (Russian), Alexander Decina, October 2020

Syrian National Army: Russian View (English), Kirill Semenov, October 2020

Syrian National Army: Russian View (Russian), Kirill Semenov, October 2020

Is the “New Normal” in Idlib Different from the “Old Normal”?: How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Affected Idlib (English), Serhat Erkmen, June 2020

Is the “New Normal” in Idlib Different from the “Old Normal”?: How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Affected Idlib (Russian), Serhat Erkmen, June 2020

Is the "New Normal" in Idlib Different from the "Old Normal"?: How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Affected Idlib (Arabic), Serhat Erkmen, June 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Military Dynamics in Northern Syria (English), Nikolay Surkov, June 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Military Dynamics in Northern Syria (Russian), Nikolay Surkov, June 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Military Dynamics in Northern Syria (Arabic), Nikolay Surkov, June 2020

The UAE’s Role in Syria’s Stability (English), Najla al-Qasemi, June 2020

The UAE’s Role in Syria’s Stability (Russian), Najla al-Qasemi, June 2020

The UAE’s Role in Syria’s Stability (Arabic), Najla al-Qasemi, June 2020

COVID-19 in Turkish Controlled Areas and Idlib (English), Basak Yavcan, June 2020

COVID-19 in Turkish Controlled Areas and Idlib (Russian), Basak Yavcan, June 2020

COVID-19 in Turkish Controlled Areas and Idlib (Arabic), Basak Yavcan, June 2020

Iran’s Involvement in Syria during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Continuity or Change? (English), Hamidreza Azizi, June 2020

Iran’s Involvement in Syria during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Continuity or Change? (Russian), Hamidreza Azizi, June 2020

Iran’s Involvement in Syria during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Continuity or Change? (Arabic), Hamidreza Azizi, June 2020

Syria lures but will China bite? (English),James M. Dorsey, June 2020

Syria lures but will China bite? (Russian), James M. Dorsey, June 2020

Syria lures but will China bite? (Arabic), James M. Dorsey, June 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Russia’s Middle East and Syria Policies (English), Leonid Isaev and Andrey Zakharov, June 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Russia’s Middle East and Syria Policies (Russian), Leonid Isaev and Andrey Zakharov, June 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Russia's Middle East and Syria Policies (Arabic), Leonid Isaev and Andrey Zakharov, June 2020

Perspectives on the future of Idlib, (English), Kirill Semenov, April 2020

Perspectives on the future of Idlib, (Russian), Kirill Semenov, April 2020

Perspectives on the future of Idlib, (Arabic), Kirill Semenov, April 2020

Operation Peace Spring: Objectives, Current Situation and its Future (English), Serhat Erkmen, April 2020

Operation Peace Spring: Objectives, Current Situation and its Future (Russian), Serhat Erkmen, April 2020

Operation Peace Spring: Objectives, Current Situation and its Future (Arabic), Serhat Erkmen, April 2020

ISIS after the US repositioning in the Northeast of Syria: camps, women and children, and leadership revival (English), Jean-Pierre Keller, April 2020

ISIS after the US repositioning in the Northeast of Syria: camps, women and children, and leadership revival (Russian), Jean-Pierre Keller, April 2020

ISIS after the US repositioning in the Northeast of Syria: camps, women and children, and leadership revival (Arabic), Jean-Pierre Keller, April 2020

The Prospective and Limitations of the Syrian Constitutional Committee (English), Sinan Hatahet, February 2020

The Prospective and Limitations of the Syrian Constitutional Committee (Russian), Sinan Hatahet, February 2020

The Prospective and Limitations of the Syrian Constitutional Committee (Arabic -Translated from English), Sinan Hatahet, February 2020

Russian Views on the Constitutional Committee and the political process in Syria (English), Nikolay Sukhov, January 2020

Russian Views on the Constitutional Committee and the political process in Syria (Russian), Nikolay Sukhov, January 2020

Russian Views on the Constitutional Committee and the political process in Syria (Arabic - Translated from English), Nikolay Sukhov, January 2020

Russian-Syrian Business Cooperation: challenges and prospects (English), Igor A. Matveev, December 2019

Russian-Syrian Business Cooperation: challenges and prospects (Russian). Igor A. Matveev, December 2019

Russian-Syrian Business Cooperation: challenges and prospects (Arabic). Igor A. Matveev, December 2019

 

Research Project Report

Syrian People's Council Elections 2020: The Regime's Social Base Contracts (English), (Arabic), Ziad Awad and Agnès Favier, October 2020

State Institutions and Regime Networks as Service Providers in Syria (Arabic), Joseph Daher, June 2020

State Institutions and Regime Networks as Service Providers in Syria (English), Joseph Daher, June 2020

State Institutions and Regime Networks as Service Providers in Syria (Russian), Joseph Daher, June 2020