Review Essay: Civil War in Syria: Mobilization and Competing Social Orders. By Adam Baczko, Gilles Dorronsoro, and Arthur Quesnay. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 336p. $84.99 cloth, $27.99 paper.
The horrors of the ongoing Syrian civil war have never been far from the front pages of the news. Social scientists who wish to study it soon confront the awkward reality that the war’s ferocity precludes field research on its central military and political dynamics. Scholars have made important advances in studying mechanisms behind protest activity and the mobilization of armed opposition to the al-Assad regime, but much work is confined to studying the conflict through the lens of refugees. Adam Baczko, Gilles Dorronsoro, and Arthur Quesnay’s research is all the more indispensable for that context. Scholars of civil war and of autocracies, researchers investigating the 2011 Arab uprisings, and Syria specialists all will find value in their book’s rich pairing of theoretically-driven analysis and empirical material gathered through field research in Syria.