A comparative study of the sectarianization of the 2011 Uprisings in Bahrain and Syria
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The thesis looks into the sectarian dynamics of the 2011 Arab Uprisings and the accompanying struggles over power in both Bahrain and Syria. It builds on constructivist understandings of sectarian identities and the process of securitization of those identities, by actors within each state, to concentrate power via means of a sectarianization of the conflicts. It also shows how regional power shifts and struggles, and how it exacerbates the sectarianization of the uprisings. The thesis examines the struggle from several points of view, including the international, regional, and national levels. It also focuses on the role of the following key variables in shaping the outcome of the 2011 Arab Uprisings: colonial legacy, ideology, class, tribe, socioeconomic status, and political standing. This thesis is divided into two parts: the first focuses on Bahrain and the second focuses on Syria. Each part comprises one chapter that focuses on the state formation of the respective countries and another chapter that focuses on the causes and processes of sectarian conflict due to the state formation and securitization of the 2011 uprisings and their trajectories. Firstly, the thesis studies the early stages of the state formation processes by which the current states were established, involving the techniques of sect-state relations, especially regarding the distribution of resources and control over state politics. Subsequently, it examines the 2011 “sectarian conflicts,” showing that they are not an inevitable feature of multi-sect states. Instead, it was only through the use of certain securitization methods that the regimes were able to manipulate sectarian identities in the uprisings. The peaceful protesters turned to sect-based violent conflict due to clashes between the regimes and radical groups. The securitization of sectarian identities by both regimes and opposition groups, along with the inequitable distribution of material gains, affected audience receptivity. The internal social movements of 2011 were further drawn toward sectarianization through the interventions and changing trajectories of regional powers.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2028-05-18
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 18th May 2028
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