The Weaponization of Syria's Reconstruction A Preliminary Sketch

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Omar Imady


It is indeed instructive that discussions of reconstruction often fail to provide a definition, or at the very least a general explanation, of what exactly they mean by the term. The assumption appears to be that the term is so readily understood to not require an explanation. Another common characteristic of such discussions is a preoccupation with how international, regional and national players are attempting to advance, or undermine, reconstruction. The focus on how various parties are interacting with a process, however, should not be confused, as often is the case, with a focus on the actual process. While the former is consumed with context, the latter attempts to shed light on agency. To focus on agency is to invariably focus on yet another conspicuously neglected subject, the actual communities that have been the victim of partial or wholescale destruction. Not only do discussions of Syria’s reconstruction generally remain loyal to these shortcomings, they additionally reflect a very determined attempt to weaponize the idea of reconstruction in various ways and towards various ends.

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