- Main applicant: Dr S.A. Hellmüller (Swisspeace, Switzerland)
- Co-applicant: Mr M. Gharibah (Local Administration Councils Unit, Turkey)
The Syrian conflict has been described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the twenty-first century.Since most of the media attention is on the armed actors, in particular on extremist groups, those involved in peacebuilding and statebuilding have attracted far less attention. Contrary to popular discourse, areas under the control of opposition groups are not in an anarchic state of affairs, but governance structures are created that will be vital in any future peacebuilding and statebuilding initiative. Therefore, through a participatory research methodology including data collection inside Syria, governance mechanisms in opposition-held areas and how their legitimacy is perceived on the ground will be analysed, in order to generate evidence-based and easily applicable knowledge on the nature, opportunities, challenges and gaps in peacebuilding and statebuilding in Syria.
This project is submitted by swisspeace and LACU, with Leila Hilal as an independent researcher. Swisspeace is a practice-oriented research institute associated with the University of Basel and with longstanding experience in conducting research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. LACU has extensive experience in local governance and is directly involved in policy and practice of security and rule of law within Syria. Leila Hilal is a renowned expert on the Syrian context.