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    Institutional weaknesses source of conflict in Syria

    In a context of democratic revolt in the Arab countries, peaceful protests that have taken place in Syria to demand freedom have been answered with violence by the regime. Unfortunately, the Syrian popular rebellion moves slowly towards the situation that occurred in Bahrain and Libya, far from the revolutions that characterized the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt.

    The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad seems unwilling to listen to demands for freedom of his people. As thousands of Syrian citizens are arrested, disappear or suffer the reaction from the repressive regime, Liberdom wants to claim the legitimacy of the struggle for freedom from Syrian citizenship and analyze the reasons that led the country to the current deterioration of economic and social status.

    Among the 137 nations considered in the Liberdom Index, Syria is in place 128. The weakness of the Syrian institutions is second only to Venezuela or countries known as failed states: Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, RD Congo, Zimbabwe and Myanmar. In this set of countries, only Syria, R.D. the Congo and Myanmar have worsened their institutions.

    Economic freedom in Syria is under the mean value recorded in the most backward economies of the world and has not improved between 1995 and 2010. The country has not improved in terms of governance and, of course, not much has been done in the area of ​​political freedoms and civil liberties on which Syria is one of the worst performers in the world.

    The contempt of the government for democratic institutions and civil liberties and its poor performance in regulating the Syrian economy led inexorably to the current situation.

    The resources derived from oil or gas in the medium and long term will not compensate the difficult economic situation if the Syrian government is not willing to start a democratic process of no return, and carry out a thorough reform of the administration and the public sector with the aim to create a better environment for entrepreneurship and to introduce freedom in the activity of the private sector. In the process, the priority is the strengthening of institutions such as freedom, good governance and action to combat corruption.

    Unfortunately, violence begets violence, and Syria seems to move towards a war between factions as occurred in countries like Iraq and Lebanon. Failure to reach an early agreement to start a national dialogue, something difficult to achieve if you continue the brutal repression of protests, or the system does not disintegrate rapidly, the institutional environment will plummet even further causing considerable social and economic cost for the Syrian citizens and a domino effect on neighboring countries that could lead the region towards a disastrous situation for development and peace.

    You can access the Working Paper of Liberdom of July 2011 “Institutional weaknesses source of conflict in Syria” through this link:

    2011 La debilidad institucional fuente del conflicto en Siria (Spanish version)

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