“The new leadership must contend not only with the legacies of dictatorship, but with the immediate consequences of violence—human, social, institutional and economic—which vastly complicate, and have often overwhelmed, even the best efforts to build and consolidate democratic institutions and norms in a traumatized, post-conflict society.”
I certainly can’t help but feel that this is a well-intentioned but insufficient measure. Maybe I’m just cynical. To be sure, I’d rather see the project than not, but I feel that it’s at best a reminder of tremendous work that will need to be done — especially on more than an elite level — but at worst enabling a feeling of “having checked the box” that would be incredibly dangerous and totally untrue. “The Day After” in Syria will require more than communication between opposition forces — no matter how inclusive the group of 45 may be — and I think that something will have to take the shape of very, very wide buy-in, deal with the consequences of economic, social, and psychological trauma, and honestly address the structural factors that have enabled the horrific bloodshed to continue for so long (…and maybe something that isn’t US-implemented? Just a thought…). But maybe this will be a good start. Inshallah.