Entering its 7th year, the Syrian conflict shows no signs of coming to an end. International stakeholders are nonetheless increasingly debating recovery and reconstruction efforts, signalling a growing focus on the post-agreement era. The Syrian government’s recapture of Aleppo in early December seemed to have particularly contributed to this trend. Though donors insist that reconstruction of aid will only be released upon the initiation of a political transition as per UNSCR 2254 and other relevant international accords, an incessant need to reduce violence and halt migration are begging questions about local stabilization and the need to sustain communities inside Syria now.
The focus of the UN-led negotiations in Geneva has been on a transition towards power sharing at the central level, and seeks an agreement between national political actors that remain polarized on what the nature of a Transitional Governance Body ought to be.
However, for any meaningful participatory governance to emerge in Syria, it must respond to conditions on the ground. National political actors have so far failed to evolve viable political ideas that bring the local levels to bear on the national peace process, and to capitalize on the involvement of local communities in shaping their future.
Author: Maria Chalhoub ,Common Space Initiative