Browsing by Subject "Syria"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-7 of 7
  • Tuomaala-Järvinen, Lotta; Saarinen, Juha (2021)
    This article provides the first-ever empirical overview of patterns of jihadist financing in Finland. As jihadism has evolved in the country, particularly during the 2010s, financing-related activities have become increasingly present, also developing in quality and variance. While there are no upheld convictions on terrorist financing in Finland to date, the authors have identified at least three distinct types of jihadist financing present in the country. First, assets have been raised and moved to armed jihadist groups operating in conflict zones abroad. Second, foreign fighters traveling to Syria and Iraq, predominantly to join IS, have self-financed their travel and equipment purchases, partly through illicit means, and, in at least one case, also moved assets for the benefit of the group they joined. Lastly, there have been assets raised in Finland and moved to individuals engaging in jihadist activities abroad. However, Finland faces notable challenges in investigating and prosecuting these offenses, hampering its efforts to promote criminal accountability for terrorist offenses.
  • Sarpo, Saana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis studies the European Union’s approach to the reconstruction of Syria. It focuses on the years 2016-2019, when the discussion on the reconstruction has been the most prominent. The official European Union stance on the reconstruction is that the EU will participate in the reconstruction of Syria only when a credible and meaningful political process, based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique, and negotiated by the Syrian parties, is firmly underway. The thesis analyses this stance in-depth defines the key elements of the approach and explores dilemmas that arise from the clash between the approach and conflict context. Post-conflict reconstruction is linked to the post-conflict peacebuilding framework. It can encompass political, social and economic aspects of rebuilding states after wars. When external, mainly western and international, actors participate in reconstruction, they have often promoted liberal peace, including democracy, market economy and modern state institutions. This has led to so called statebuilding approach, which focuses on strengthening state institutions and promoting good governance. The EU’s approach is analysed in this framework, with a focus on normative power. The EU has been described asa normative power, which has been constructed on a normative basis and promotes normative principles in its international relations. To analyse the reconstruction approach, this thesis uses publicly available documents from relevant EU bodies as a source for the analysis. Main focus is with the European External Action Service documents, with inputs from relevant documents from other bodies. The source materials are analysed and categorised using Qualitative Content Analysis method. The key findings of the research are that the EU’s approach is based on strong economic power leverage and promotion of normative principles with a focus on reforming the political system and facilitating reconciliation. The reconstruction assistance is used as a leverage to push Syrian parties and their allies to the peace negotiations in Geneva under the UN auspices. The EU legitimates its role through emphasising its neutral longer-term approach that is based on humanitarian principles and support for Syrian voices and ownership. It also externalises its normative identity as a peace project as the source of credibility in promoting peace. The approach has had little effect on the Assad government, which has strengthened its grip on state structures. This poses a dilemma to the EU and other international actors: how to fulfil humanitarian objectives without legitimating the government? The concept of reconstruction with its flexibility has shown that many activities can and are done under other terms such as early recovery and stabilisation. However, operating like this can undermine the official political stance.
  • Töyräänvuori, Joanna; Sazonov, Vladimir (2021)
    In this article, the authors examine the divine support and religious justification of wars by Anatolian and North Syrian rulers in the Late Bronze Age, an epoch of international diplomacy. Notable is that many wars and conflicts in the region of Anatolia and North Syria took place in this period, which may have occasioned an increasing need to justify them by appeal to divinities.
  • Kallström, Agneta; al-Abdulla, Orwa; Parkki, Jan; Häkkinen , Mikko; Juusola, Hannu; Kauhanen, Jussi (2022)
    Background The Syrian conflict has endured for a decade, causing one of the most significant humanitarian crises since World War II. The conflict has inflicted massive damage to civil infrastructure, and not even the health care sector has been spared. On the contrary, health care has been targeted, and as a result, many health professionals have left the country. Despite the life-threatening condition, many health professionals continued to work inside Syria even in the middle of the acute crisis. This qualitative study aims to determine the factors that have motivated Syrian health professionals to work in a conflict-affected country. Methods The research is based on 20 semi-structured interviews of Syrian health care workers. Interviews were conducted in 2016-2017 in Gaziantep, Turkey. A thematic inductive content analysis examined the motivational factors Syrian health care workers expressed for their work in the conflict area. Results Motivating factors for health care workers were intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic reasons included humanitarian principles and medical ethics. Also, different ideological reasons, patriotic, political and religious, were mentioned. Economic and professional reasons were named as extrinsic reasons for continuing work in the war-torn country. Conclusions The study adds information on the effects of the Syrian crisis on health care-from healthcare workers' perspective. It provides a unique insight on motivations why health care workers are continuing their work in Syria. This research underlines that the health care system would collapse totally without local professionals and leave the population without adequate health care.
  • Kallström, Agneta; Al-Abdulla, Orwa; Parkki, Jan; Häkkinen, Mikko; Juusola, Hannu; Kauhanen, Jussi (2021)
  • Lundmark, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In this study I look ahead into the immediate postwar future in Syria. The purpose of my study is to review political processes that could break the pattern of recurring violence and support long-term stabilization. It seems to me that peace processes and the international discussion surrounding them have become what could perhaps be called ‘pacifitized’ – too charged with assumptions and contest to yield substantial results. Actors and conflict parties spend more time on blaming each other than discussing tangible solutions. This has been too scarcely noted in previous conflict resolution literature. Postwar issues need to become the intrinsic focus of peace negotiations. To bring this development about, the discussion around peace needs to become less charged with antagonizing communication. I utilize a combination of several political theory approaches for this study. Power political decisions are suited by a realist view, whereas cooperative communal projects benefit of a liberal perspective. These approaches are supplemented with additions from poststructuralism and postcolonialism. The Syrian scene is a complex conflict matrix that cannot sufficiently be analyzed with one theory alone. I also review experience from previous sectarian conflicts to find cases the Syrian situation can be compared to. Past experiences from similar conflict structures can be revisited to avoid making the same miscalculations that were made before. Processes resulting in a positive outcome in one setting, combined with the knowledge on another specific local, can be adjusted and applied in a new context. Syria seems to again have become a proxy battle ground for great power interests. Regardless of where the power ultimately settles, the governing party will have a shortage on legitimacy. The Syrian political sphere needs to open up and adequate postwar stabilization efforts commence. Introduction of inclusive societal elements can further be one of the most effective ways to combat spoilers. The task of building an inclusive society and countering antagonization is arduous and costly. Funding for retribution and rebuilding could perhaps be collected into a global fund established for this cause. Changes will take time, and they need to take place on all societal levels. For the aim of ensuring local support, the peace process needs to be rooted in the local from the start. This will also limit the amount of issues that parties can use for objects of pacifitization. To summarize, the processes set into motion need to be ones that firstly, the local community agrees with and secondly, ones that can plausibly be considered to become self-sustainable in the future. This requires sturdy planning from trials to funding of the process, preferably already before an international intervention into the conflict is conducted. International support for peace processes will continuously be called for, but for the previously mentioned reasons, the local should be the uncontested focus of all peace processes.
  • Teiskonlahti, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis studies women in peacebuilding and concentrates on questions: why women are excluded from peacebuilding, and in vice versa how women could be involved in peacebuilding processes. The case study within this research focuses on the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava) and young women’s experiences and opinions about which factors either prevent or improve women’s participation in peace processes. In this master’s thesis, the data was collected by emailing the questionnaire surveys. Five young women from Rojava answered the questions, which were analyzed using conventional content analysis to find respondents’ opinions on barriers and enablers for women’s participation in peacebuilding. The findings of the study demonstrate that women from Rojava emphasized very similar enablers what the literature also underlines. These are an access to formal and informal education, allowing social norms, non-violent environment, political will and participation, and economical and other resources. In addition, a key finding of this research was, that in the case study women stressed their participation in the army and how this empowered them also for being part of peacebuilding. All these enablers are interlinked with each other and to have encouraging environment women to participate in peacebuilding, most of these factors should be in place. In addition, when these factors are lacking, they become barriers for women’s participation. The result of this thesis shows the main factors that are impacting women’s participation in peacebuilding. In addition, an increased understanding about women’s participation in army, and how it may empower women for peacebuilding is a finding worth of deeper study.