A 21st century Guernica: Analysing French and German involvement in the Syrian Civil War
MetadataShow full item record
The Syrian Civil War has been going on for a small decade. From its start in 2011 onwards, many foreign actors have played a part in this conflict. From a national perspective, the two most interesting European countries that have been, or are still, playing a role in this conflict are France and Germany. Although these nations have much in common with regard to European affairs, they have a very different opinion on foreign relations and the implementation of high politics. France, with its former colonial ties to Syria has been pursuing the usage of hard power whereas Germany has been reluctant to apply hard power and has always, with the exemption of a small contribution to the coalition against ISIS, opted for low politics. As both France and Germany are amongst the most prominent EU member states, their individual policy towards the Syrian Civil War has influenced the general EU policy as well. In the end pragmatic French foreign policy combined with soft German foreign policy led to a prolonging of the Syrian Civil War and showed pitfalls within foreign affairs as currently practiced within the European Union. A thorough analysis of foreign involvement of both European countries in this conflict will also shed light on the function of multilateralism and aims to contribute to the scholarly debate that is going on concerning multilateralism and regionalism.