SYRIA AS A SHATTER BELT AND THE GREAT POWER COMPETITION
Keywords:Shatter Belt, Syrian War, Human Needs Theory, Prospect Theory, Conflict Resolution
In geopolitics, the term ‘shatter belt’ refers to a region that is highly vulnerable to conflicts and is often an arena for great power competition through proxy wars. For more than a decade, Syria has been engaged in a similar unprecedented state of conflict involving domestic and foreign actors – a conflict that has exacerbated the dilapidated political, economic, and social security. As per the Fragile States Index 2021, Syria is one of the world's top three most fragile states, indicating its vulnerability and unsustainability. Using qualitative data through secondary sources, this paper highlights how Syria serves as a shatter belt for major powers, explicating interests of the US, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. In order to understand the dynamics of conflict, the paper applies Amos Tversky’s Prospect theory which highlights stakeholders' loss aversion and risk-acceptant behaviour. In addition, the paper highlights that conflict resolution strategies applied to resolve the conflict have failed so far. In this regard, John Burton’s Human Needs theory is applied to the case study to emphasize what can be done to resolve this protracted conflict.
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