The Syrian Conflict and Russia’s Search for Regional Hegemony in a Contested Middle East: Implications for the Euro-Atlantic Community

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Volume 2017, Number 10
Publication Date October 2017
Content Type


The Syrian conflict, a civil war with sectarian patterns driven by endogenous and exogenous dynamics, has turned into a proxy war catalysing the major geopolitical tensions of today’s contested world order. The conflict represents a major challenge for the Euro-Atlantic community as it reflects Russia’s reassertion as a counter-power to the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) in the Middle East. Taking a
structural realist approach, the Syrian conflict can be interpreted as a confrontation for regional hegemony. This paper explores the implications of Russia’s reassertion for the Euro-Atlantic community’s approaches to Syria and the Middle East as well as for transatlantic relations. It argues that in the power vacuum created by the Arab Spring, Russia’s engagement in Syria has highlighted the limits of American and European approaches to the region. Moreover, Russia’s reassertion as a regional hegemon challenges the Euro-Atlantic cohesion and is likely to lead to a ‘forced emancipation’ of the EU from the US as a strategic foreign policy actor.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Subject Tags
Countries / Regions ,