Accueil > A Tale of Two Cities : The Syrian conflict through the prism of Aleppo and Raqqa

EJPR 12A02 - Winter Workshop - Behind the News: The syrian conflict through the prism of Aleppo and Raqqa

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 15

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

If there is one place in the world, right now, that can illustrate the complexity, the tensions and the divisions within the current World Order, that must be Syria: civil war, asymmetric war, regional war, proxy war, international terrorism, the purpose of the liberal world order, the rising of non-liberal powers, Liberalism vs Realism in IR: Human rights vs. Sovereignty, migration policies, refugee crisis. Syria is a road map to understand IR discipline and the current state of the World Order. Numerous actors are involved at different levels, and from various places in the world. The conflict has been going on for quite a while now, which makes the analysis of this conflict heavy. The battle is not only physical with victories and losses, real combatants and enemies. It is also an ideological war raging from every corner. Defining the conflict is key to its resolution. Obviously, we cannot address a conflict of such magnitude exhaustively, but we might find our way out of it by circling on two very important and distinct moments during the conflict: the battles of Aleppo and Raqqa. These battles can help us to build a comprehensive analysis of what makes this conflict so significant: same/different outcome, same/different designated enemy, same/different violence and same/different unavoidable civil casualties. In other words, two different fates, orchestrated by completely different actors, each side telling a different story. The goal of this workshop is not only to open the students to the analysis of the Syrian conflict, but also to use this opportunity to introduce some basic knowledge of the IR discipline, as well as some methodological tools to conduct such analysis. Students will get a taste of building a theoretical framework, investigating a topic, proposing an analysis.


TORTCHINSKI, Chemsa (PhD. Lecturer)

Pedagogical format

The workshop is divided into 6 sessions of 2,5 hours over 3 days. Each day will be composed of one morning session, focusing on the theoretical and methodological aspects, and an afternoon session dedicated to build our case study with the tools provided from the morning session. The student is expected to read press articles and academic papers, as well as primary sources, to learn how to make some research and find pertinent and valid sources. If the morning session may feel like a lecture, the afternoon session is going to be a discussion and collective research based seminar.

Course validation

To validate the course, the student is expected to write an essay (5/6 pages) due a month after the end of the seminar. A particular attention will be given to the quality of the bibliography, the rigor of the demonstration and the ability to place the conversation within the realm of the IR discipline.

Required reading

John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International relations, 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013

Additional required reading

Bertrand Badie, Dirk Berg-Schlosser and Leonardo Morlino. International Encyclopedia of Political Science, 2011