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The Syrian Civil War with Fabrice Balanche

Bashar al-Assad
ATPImages/Getty Images
Bashar al-Assad

In this episode of Talking History, Djene, and Patrick speak with geographer and international relations specialist Fabrice Balanche about the origins and development of the Syrian Civil War.


In 2010, a wave of popular protest swept the Middle East, the so-called “Arab Spring." In Tunisia and Egypt, these popular rebellions resulted in the ousting of long-standing dictatorships. However, in Syria, the protest movement that began in 2011 against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, resulted in a brutal civil war that continues to this day. But what were the causes of this civil war? How has it shaped Middle Eastern and global affairs? And why has it lasted so long with no end seemingly in sight?

Fabrice Balanche is a geographer and specialist in the geopolitics of the Middle East who has taught in France. He was also affiliated with the think-tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. He is the author of several books on Middle Eastern geography and the Syrian Civil War.

Djene Bajalan is a historian and a member of the faculty in the Department of History at Missouri State University. He was born, raised, and educated in the United Kingdom and holds a DPhil in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the Ottoman Empire and he teaches courses on the history of the Middle East.<br/><br/>
Patrick Needham is a mechanic and fabricator with a love for History. Born in Colorado and raised in Taney County, Missouri, Pat loves the Ozarks with the zeal of a convert. Not formally trained in History, he brings an everyman touch to the show. He hopes his fellow Ozarkers find lessons and parallels in the past.