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We are pleased to present VOL 11, NO 1 Against All Odds, Intricate Dynamics of Syria’s Reconstruction. This issue of Syria Studies includes five articles; the first three of which were produced as part of a World bank (WB) initiative, while the last (State-led urban development in Syria and the prospects for effective post-conflict reconstruction by Nadine Almanasfi) is a separate study, though clearly pertinent to the content of this issue.
In mid-2018, the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews (CSS) was asked by the WB to contribute to an initiative entitled: Building for Peace: Reconstruction for Security, Sustainable Peace, and Equity in MENA. This issue of Syria Studies shares several of the background papers that were produced by members of the CSS team: (1) The weaponization of Syria’s reconstruction, a preliminary sketch by Omar Imady; (2) Geo-economics: Russia and Iran in Syria by Faysal Itani; and (3) The geopolitics of Syria’s reconstruction: a case of matryoshka by Erwin Van Veen. The CSS would like to acknowledge the support the WB provided which made these studies possible. It is important to emphasise that the information and views shared by the authors of these studies are their own and should not be regarded as representing the views of the WB or the CSS.
Finally, it should be noted that several additional studies produced under the WB initiative will be published in the forthcoming issue of Syria Studies.