Bassam Haddad interviews Omar Dahi and Rabie Nasser about the recently released report: “Conflict Economies in Syria: Roots, Dynamics, and Pathways for Change.” Omar Dahi, the lead author of the paper which was prepared for the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR), summarizes its contents and findings. Rabie Nasser, Co-Founder of SCPR, address the context within which the report emerged, both analytically and institutionally. The interview was conducted on 9 July 2020.

The paper is part of a series on Development Policy Dialogue initiative and can be downloaded in full on SCPR’s website here, both in English and Arabic.

Omar S. Dahi is a co-editor of Jadaliyya and an associate professor of economics at Hampshire College and co-director of the Peacebuilding and State building program and research associate at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests are in the political economy of development in the Middle East, South-South relations, comparative regionalism, peace and conflict studies, and critical security studies. He has published in academic outlets such as the Journal of Development EconomicsApplied EconomicsSouthern Economic JournalPolitical GeographyMiddle East Report, Forced Migration Review, and Critical Studies on Security. His last book South-South Trade and Finance in the 21st Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence (co-authored with Firat Demir) explores the ambiguous developmental impact of the new economic linkages among countries of the global South. He has served on the editorial collective of Middle East Report and is a co-founder and co-director of the Beirut School for Critical Security Studies working group at the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). Dahi is also the founder and director of the Security in Context initiative.

Rabie Nasser is a co-founder of the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR), working as researcher in macroeconomic policies, inclusive growth, poverty, and conflict dynamics. He obtained a B.A. in Economics from Damascus University in 1999. He has a MSc in Economics from Leicester University, UK. Before joining SCPR, Nasser worked for the State Planning Commission as Chief Economist and Director General of Macroeconomic Management Directorate. Afterwards, he worked as an Economic Researcher at the Arab Planning Institute in Kuwait. He then moved on to work as a senior researcher for the Syrian Development Research Center that conducts studies, evaluations, and applied research.

Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and co-editor of the forthcoming book, A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East (Forthcoming, Stanford University Press, 2021). Bassam serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and theKnowledge Production Project. He is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of the seriesArabs and Terrorism. Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute. He serves on the Board of theArab Council for the Social Sciencesand is Executive Producer of Status Audio Magazine. Bassam is Co-Project Manager for theSalon Syria Projectand Director of the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI).  He received MESA’s Jere L. Bacharach Service Award in 2017 for his service to the profession. Currently, Bassam is working on his second Syria book tittled Understanding The Syrian Tragedy: Regime, Opposition, Outsiders(forthcoming, Stanford University Press). Bassam is a Co-Editor of the Syria Page.

[This article was originally published by Jadaliyya on 15 July, 2020.]