Research in a Time of Unbounded Flux

Submitted for the BRISMES 2012 Annual Conference

For the last few years I have been undertaking doctoral research on civil society in Syria. When I started my thesis I began from a standpoint of relative positivity – exploring the developments that were slowly taking place in numerous areas of Syrian society and investigating the possibility of a more free, active and vibrant civil society within it. It was well known that corruption in the government and its various arms was wide spread and deep rooted. Freedom of expression, in any of its forms, was almost inconceivable. Political participation too was an area that few ever seriously considered in light of the domination and exclusivity of the Baath party with Syria’s single party rule.  Poverty, increasing costs of living and unemployment were problems that were faced by the majority of Syrian people.  Nevertheless, even with these tremendous limitations, things appeared to be moving – after decades of stagnation. However, those years of stagnation finally took their toll and the Syrians are now in the second year of their uprising – living every day in uncertainty as to what is to come next.

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~ by Tamara Al-Om on February 26, 2012.

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