Title

COVID-19 AND CIVIL WARS IN THE ARAB WORLD: THE CASES OF SYRIA, LIBYA AND YEMEN

Source of Publication

Asian Affairs

Abstract

© 2020 The Royal Society for Asian Affairs. The post-Arab Spring period witnessed the outbreak of devastating civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen. These wars had many disastrous impacts on these countries, which threatened their existence as political entities. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the problems facing these countries, especially in light of the collapse of their infrastructure and health care systems. In spite of this, the pandemic and its consequences did not mitigate these civil wars. In this context, this article aims to answer the following question: Why do civil wars continue in the Arab world, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its disastrous consequences? In other words, why didn't the pandemic create a new dynamic that pushes for the settlement of the civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen? The article provides five reasons to explain this phenomenon. First, the worsening situation in Syria, Libya, and Yemen before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to civil wars in these countries turning into protracted conflicts. Second, the nature of the civil wars as proxy wars, due to the large number of regional and international actors that have been involved in each of them. Third, the expansion of war economies in these countries; this phenomenon feeds civil conflict and sustains it. Fourth, the disintegration of the nation state in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, due to the absence of a strong central government, and the multiplicity of actors that control the state's territory. Fifth, the inefficiency of the means to peacefully settle Arab civil wars, mainly through the political efforts of the United Nations.

Document Type

Article

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

First Page

838

Last Page

855

Publication Date

1-1-2020

DOI

10.1080/03068374.2020.1837540

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Hassanein Ali, Zayed University

Scopus ID

85096613056

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