The Battle for Syria
International Rivalry in the New Middle East
By Christopher Phillips
Published 15 September 2016. Available for pre-order NOW from Yale University Press (2016) – ORDER HERE.
Most accounts of Syria’s brutal, long-lasting civil war focus on a domestic contest that began in 2011 and only later drew foreign nations into the escalating violence. Christopher Phillips argues instead that the international dimension was never secondary but that Syria’s war was, from the very start, profoundly influenced by regional factors, particularly the vacuum created by a perceived decline of U.S. power in the Middle East. This precipitated a new regional order in which six external protagonists-the United States, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar-have violently competed for influence, with Syria a key battleground.
Drawing on a plethora of original interviews, Phillips constructs a new narrative of Syria’s war. Without absolving the brutal Bashar al-Assad regime, the author untangles the key external factors which explain the acceleration and endurance of the conflict, including the West’s strategy against ISIS. He concludes with some insights on Syria and the region’s future.
Everyday Arab Identity
The Daily Reproduction of the Arab World
By Christopher Phillips
Available NOW from Routledge (2012) – ORDER HERE.
Whether through government propaganda or popular transnational satellite television channels, Arab citizens encounter a discourse that reinforces a sense of belonging to their own state and a broader Arab world on a daily basis. Looking through the lens of nationalism theory, this book examines how and why Arab identity continues to be reproduced in today’s Middle East, and how that Arab identity interacts with strengthening ties to religion and the state.
Drawing on case studies of two ideologically different Arab regimes, Syria and Jordan, Christopher Phillips explores both the implications this everyday Arab identity will have on western policy towards the Middle East and its real life impact on international relations.
Offering an original perspective on this topical issue, this book will be of interest to academics and practitioners working on the Arab world and political affairs, as well as students of International Relations, Political Science and the Middle East, notably Syria and Jordan, and policymakers in the region
Click here for Alan George’s review in International Affairs, January 2013
Click here for Nir Bom’s review in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, January 2013
Click here for Morten Valbjorn’s review in Middle East Journal, Spring 2013
Click here for Moinuddin Ahmad’s review in The Statesman, April 2013