Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

Category:

Description

Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

  • Since the World Wars came to an end, civil conflicts have become a major form of violence worldwide. Initially, it was considered that the end of these wars resulted in civil conflicts between various ethnic groups that had simmering animosities hushed by the hegemony of the superpower. Researchers were of the view that countries that had great religious and ethnic diversity were more prone to these conflicts.
  • In my paper, I will present a detailed research into the causes of civil wars while focusing on the world’s most conflict ridden countries with the aim of proposing the most effective domestic as well as global policies that would effectively prevent the outbreak of such conflicts in future.
  • This topic will focus on developing a detailed understanding of practices and institutions that form public life in conflict-ridden nations such as Syria.

Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

 

Since the World Wars came to an end, civil conflicts have become a major form of violence worldwide. Initially, it was considered that the end of these wars resulted in civil conflicts between various ethnic groups that had simmering animosities hushed by the hegemony of the superpower. Researchers were of the view that countries that had great religious and ethnic diversity were more prone to these conflicts. Moreover, they assumed that skirmishes were more likely to break out in regions hard hit by political and ethnic grievances. Recent developments during the Arab uprisings in countries such as Syria have, however, made such thinking refutable. In my paper, I will present a detailed research into the causes of civil wars while focusing on the world’s most conflict ridden countries with the aim of proposing the most effective domestic as well as global policies that would effectively prevent the outbreak of such conflicts in future. The research area chosen forms a political science topic given that when analyzing contemporary conflicts, one has to take into account both domestic as well as international politics. Additionally, while the discipline entails the theory and practice that guide politics at all levels of governance, whether local, national, or international, this topic will focus on developing a detailed understanding of practices and institutions that form public life in conflict-ridden nations such as Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Aljazeera, Aljazeera. “Analysis: How to Solve a Problem like Syria?” Aljazeera.Com. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/analysis-plan-save-syria-150930083231637.html.

Byman, Daniel. “Civil Wars and Spillover”. Brookings. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2015/06/03/civil-wars-and-spillover/.

Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed, Nathaniel Barr, George Willcoxon, and Norhan Basuni. “The Crisis in North Africa Implications for Europe and Options for EU Policymakers”. Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael 1, no. 1 (2015). https://www.clingendael.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/The%20crisis%20in%20North%20Africa%20report%202015.pdf.

Laub, Zachary. “Yemen in Crisis”. Council on Foreign Relations. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2016. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/yemen-crisis.

Orkaby, Asher. “Yemen’s Humanitarian Nightmare”. Foreign Affairs. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/yemen/2017-10-16/yemens-humanitarian-nightmare.

Stewart, F. “Root Causes Of Violent Conflict in Developing Countries Commentary: Conflict—From Causes to Prevention?” BMJ 324, no. 7333 (2002): 342-345. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1122271/.

The Economist, The Economist. “Cite A Website – Cite This For Me”. Economist.Com. Last modified 2016. Accessed February 7, 2018. https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21698652-europe-and-america-made-mistakes-misery-arab-world-caused-mainly-its-own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

The Causes of Civil Conflict in Syria and Possible Solutions

After carrying out in-depth research on the Syrian civil war, it has emerged that the conflict is not as a result of one single component.  Rather, it is a result of multiple factors that are deeply intertwined and that have over the years resulted in increased deterioration of security and stability in the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literature Review-essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

There are numerous factors that have precipitated the current crisis in Syria. The literature reviews examined indicate that the civil conflict in this country is as a result of political oppression, economic failure of Assad’s region, and widespread corruption that has impoverished the state. Additionally, the Socialism ideology advocated by most Arab countries including Syria has proven unsuccessful in producing real results. While there are those that have been protesting against the rule by a minority in Syria, state violence has also been a significant factor during the early stages of the conflict. Although most scholars have avoided discussing the problem of water in Syria, it has been a major factor that played a role in igniting the conflict.

Conflicts arising due to the scarcity of water are not new especially in developing countries. According to Davis, this particular resource plays a crucial role in developmental and economic activities (Davis 14). The water crisis is regarded as the leading global risk by the World Economic Forum due to its ability to destabilize the society and a country in general. Other countries within the region have also been hard hit by water shortage. In Yemen for instance, water infrastructures were damaged when war broke out between the Houthi rebels and government forces. According to Orkaby, the growing water shortage is now the greatest threat that the country faces (Orkaby par. 29). Though Syria has several natural water resources, its shortage in the country is a result of poor and ineffective government policy that gave priority to commercial and agricultural activities while leaving hundreds of thousands of people without access to the basic commodity.

Most researchers are of the view that the disintegration of Syria’s social structure has partly been caused by water-related factors that include water mismanagement and crop failure. Eventually, large numbers of youths and middle-aged people that previously depended on agriculture were forced to move to urban centers in search of some income. Apart from contributing to high levels of unemployment status in these areas and causing economic decline, this demographic change eventually resulted in widespread social unrest in cities and urban centers.

A close link exists between civil conflicts and economic crisis. According to scholars, Syria’s economic condition is influenced to a great extent by environmental conditions and availability of water. They point out that compared to other political grievances; economic decline is likely to result in social unrest. For the last few decades, countries in the Middle East have been characterized by political discord and sectarian conflicts. Additionally, security struggles in some of the countries have become a major threat to their stability. The stability of Syria, in particular, has been weakened by the Arab revolts that began in 2011. According to Davis, several networks of fighters have established themselves in Syria since the uprisings started (Davis 39). These individuals brought their transnational ideas and influences into Syria and have contributed to the protracted nature of the conflict. Davis notes that since the violence broke out, more than 170,000 people have been killed.

Different scholars highlight the problem of the mass exodus of civilians from parts of war-torn Syria. They note that this movement has the potential to spill the Syrian conflict into a regional dispute (Davis 41). According to Byman, the politics of countries that border a war-torn state is impacted negatively (Byman par. 5). In some cases, this could be caused by terrorism and the refugees that cross borders. In the Middle East, however, thousands of citizens move across borders on daily basis. Consequently, it becomes almost impossible to confine the developments in one country. Consequently, many civil wars in the Middle East tend to spill over across borders. The region has now witnessed several civil conflicts in countries such as Iraq and Yemen (Laub par.10). Libya has also witnessed increased violence in recent years.Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

Various scholars have attempted to explain causes of the Syrian civil conflict. Based on the literature surveyed, it is evident that civil war going on in this country is not as a result of one single component.  Rather, it is a result of multiple factors that are deeply intertwined and that have over the years resulted in increased deterioration of security and stability. However, there are several questions that remain to be solved. First, scholars have failed to agree on the best approach that should be taken towards providing a long-lasting solution to the problem. According to Aljazeera, the visions that the two opposing superpowers have, namely Russia and the US, regarding the best approach to end the conflict, do not reflect the reality that is happening in Syria. Western countries look at the situation from the perspective of the threat by Islamic State fighters, the problem of refugees, and the hundreds of thousands of people that have been killed since the violence broke out. Over the years, it has emerged that talks between the rebels and Bashar al-Assad, the leader of the nation, will not help to end the war. On the other hand, his hold onto power has only helped to worsen the situation.

To understand the problem and provide a viable solution, there are several questions that must be explored in detail. To begin with, Syria’s divisions, both ethnic and religious must be understood. Second, the parties to the crisis must be identified. It is only after exploring these two issues that prospect for a long-lasting solution can be developed.Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

 

 

 

References

Aljazeera, Aljazeera. “Analysis: How to Solve a Problem like Syria?” Aljazeera.Com. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018.

Byman, Daniel. “Civil Wars and Spillover”. Brookings. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2015/06/03/civil-wars-and-spillover/.

Davis, Kristen Leigh. The Expanding Nature of the Syrian Civil War: From Poor Policy to Regional Conflict. Diss. 2015.

Laub, Zachary. “Yemen in Crisis”. Council on Foreign Relations. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2016. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/yemen-crisis

Orkaby, Asher. “Yemen’s Humanitarian Nightmare”. Foreign Affairs. Last modified 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/yemen/2017-10-16/yemens-humanitarian-nightmare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

Question 1

My research question is the causes of conflicts in Syria and their solutions. There are a number of scholars who have also researched and documented on this topic in their research driven journals. Peter Gleick in the American Metrological Society Journal has published on Water, Drought, Climate Change and Conflict in Syria. The article focuses on the trigger of the devastating civil war in Syria including religious and sociopolitical factors, erosion of economic health of the country, a wave of political reform sweeping over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Levant region, and challenges associated with climate variability and change and the availability and use of freshwater. Eline Vaessen’s Master Thesis on the Syrian Civil War is extensive, but gives a special focus on the Asad-regime and the role it plays in these conflicts. POMEPS Briefings in the Middle East political Science Journal also posted about The Political Science of Syria’s War. Having been drafted in 2013, just 2 years since the article walks one through the history of the conflict, the number of lives lost by then, the resolution of Syria’s war and the authoritarianism regime in Syria. BBC News’ Syria: The Story of the conflict, also covers a documentary of the pro-democracy protests leading to the violent uprising, the violence in Damascus and Aleppo, chemical weapons, rebels and the rise of Jihadists. Finally, PS114S’s International Security in a Changing World, published by Stamford.edu delves into the Syrian civil war in a cause of the Syrian Civil War, actors in the civil war, ISIS, timeline of key events since 2011 and   U.S position on the Syrian civil war.

Upon the completion of my research project I expect to have demonstrated the history of the conflicts in Syria, the parties involved in the conflict, the government and opposition’s position in the war, war resolutions and peace effort and the regional and international effect of the war.

 Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

Question 2

Identifying topics suitable for research is a strategically undertaken process. One starts by brainstorming for ideas on the subject. The ideas may fall under a comparative analysis, argumentative research, contemporary issue, among other types of research papers. As for me, I settled on a contemporary subject of international concern at the moment. The conflicts in Syria are a significant topic today, and solutions need to be found sooner rather than later. The next step is choosing a topic, which will enable reading and understanding of the literature involved. The topic should be manageable and the materials or literature available. Then come up with a list of key words, define the topic as a research question and finally, formulate a thesis statement. Online resources, journal articles and filmed documentaries were important in refining my ideas about my chosen research topic.

 

Question 3

The full citation of the two journal articles I am using for this research topic are:

Gleick, P. H. (2014). Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria. Americam Meteorogical Society Journal .

Vaessen, E. (2014). The Cyrian Civil War. Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication .

 

The research issue under investigation in Gleick’s piece are the political difficulties and the ongoing civil war: the complex interrelated factors leading to it including religious and sociopolitical tensions, the erosion of the economic health of the country, and a wave of political reform sweeping over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Levant regions (Gleick, 2014). The article also brings in a new dimension of the role played by water and climatic conditions in the deterioration of Syria’s economic conditions. Vaessen’s research is more specific as it focuses on the Asad-regime and its correlation with the civil war.

A brief outline of how Vaessen goes about her research gives an outline of how my research will be undertaken. First is coming up with an abstract which gives a summary of the whole research paper which in this case includes a thesis, the issue and the conclusion, all in a nutshell. The last part in the abstract are key words for the research. The rest of the outline includes an introduction consisting of research question, research methods and theoretical framework. The next chapter is on literature review, which contains works of literature on the topic, an analysis of these works and their deficiencies. The next chapters are on answering the thesis statement. The final chapter includes a recommendation or solution to ending the civil war and a conclusion.

The major findings of Gleck’s article are the many root courses of the Syrian conflict. Most articles and sources attribute the conflict to the Pro-democracy protests erupted in March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa after the arrest and torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. However, there are also the long-standing political, religious and social ideological disputes, economic dislocations from both regional and global factors and devastating environmental conditions. This relates to my topic and will be significant in answering the question “what is the cause of conflict in Syria” expansively and exhaustively.

Essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annotated Bibliography-essay on the Causes of Civil Conflicts in Arab and African Countries and Possible Solutions

Aljazeera, Aljazeera. “Analysis: How to Solve a Problem like Syria?” Aljazeera.Com. Last modified 2018. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/analysis-plan-save-syria-150930083231637.html.

That source asserts that the present Syrian civil war is a result of the accumulation of unsolved micro-conflicts. Its solution cannot be obtained through the help of the United Nation’s General Assembly. Instead, a long-lasting settlement can only be reached through a negotiated solution by the Syrian people themselves that aims at addressing the causes of the conflict. The source provides important information about the new threats posed by foreign fighters. It points that the Islamic State is a powerful tool being used by the ruling regime. To reach a solution, the US and Europe should increase their military activity on the ground. Additionally, these countries should put more pressure on Syria’s allies to stop the bombing of citizens.

Byman, Daniel. “Civil Wars and Spillover”. Brookings. Last modified 2018. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2015/06/03/civil-wars-and-spillover/.

This source is a post written by Daniel Byma, one of the participants in the US- Islamic World Forum. The author analyses the causes of spillage of civil across neighboring countries especially in the Middle East and the resulting consequences. According to him, the spread of these conflicts has been influenced by terrorism. Apart from causing death and misery to millions of affected families, civil wars in Syria and Yemen have upset politics in neighboring countries such as Yemen and Iran. The article will be very helpful in providing more insight into the Syrian conflict.

Jenkins, Brian Michael. “The Dynamics of Syria’s Civil War.” (2014). https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE100/PE115/RAND_PE115.pdf.

The article offers insight into the developments that are taking place in Syria and provides facts that reveal that the civil conflict is far from over. Based on the information provided, the nation faces an uncertain future given that foreign fighters are flocking into the country on daily basis. The once established national institutions have been eroded since the conflict started. Their positions have been taken over by loyalties to foreign and local powers. The article suggests that instead of pursuing strategies that focus on altering the outcome, any policymaking should be based on the assumption of continued conflict and the steps that can help to mitigate the situation.

Laub, Zachary. “Yemen in Crisis”. Council on Foreign Relations. Last modified 2018. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/yemen-crisis.

The article focus on Yemen crisis following the takeover of government by Houthi rebels. Laub provides information about the areas that have been captured. He also investigates developments that led to Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the conflict. The article is helpful in understanding how Yemen civil conflict was spurred by divisions that have existed in the state since its formation in 1990 following the unification of the southern People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and the northern Yemeni Arab Republic. According to the author, the crisis has been caused by several factors that include seizing of power by Houthi fighters, fuel subsidy backlash, divisions in armed forces, and the launch of military intervention by Saudi Arabia. The article will be helpful when gathering information for the final paper and will be a key reference.

Orkaby, Asher. “Yemen’s Humanitarian Nightmare”. Foreign Affairs. Last modified 2018. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/yemen/2017-10-16/yemens-humanitarian-nightmare.

The article focuses on the conflict in Yemen. The author has presented a detailed account of the events that led to the civil unrest. He also relates these developments to the past history of this state. Based on the information provided, Saudi’s intervention in the conflict was motivated by the need to contain the Houthis whom it considers as an enemy. The author suggests that the only solution to the current crisis can only be achieved if the US and Saudi Arabia allow citizens of this country to adopt a political solution that they prefer. However, for any peaceful solution to be effective, it should recognize and consider the existing internal divisions

POMES. “The Political Science of Syria’s War.” (2013). http://www.pensamientocritico.org/promid0114.pdf

The article investigates the dynamics of the Syrian conflict. When analyzing it from the perspective of civil war scholars, the author of the article concludes that internal fighting and divisions among members of the opposition in this state make it difficult to achieve post-war stability in the near future. This particular source is very helpful given that it explores barriers that make it hard to reach a war resolution which includes power over various veto players. Additionally, it explores ways through which the fragmented opposition could be governed. Based on the information presented in this source, foreign support given to Syrian rebels is to blame for the worsening situation.

The Economist. “The war within”. Economist.Com. Last modified 2016. https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21698652-europe-and-america-made-mistakes-misery-arab-world-caused-mainly-its-own.

The article offers authoritative insight into the civil wars that have rocked Arab states since 2011. The current misery that millions of Arabs in Libya, Syria, and Yemen are being subjected to is as a result of their failures. Over the years, successive regimes in this state have failed to tackle pressing needs among its citizens. Unemployment has remained high while excessive corruption has forced the economy to stagnate. The leaders of these regimes have also failed to enhance democracy and people have been denied the right to vote. In such circumstances, it becomes very difficult to avert a possible uprising.