The Kremlin and Washington in the Levant : A most similar comparative case study of the actions by the United States and Russia in the Syrian civil war

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för statsvetenskap (ST)

Abstract: Ever since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war two countries have been outspoken about the situation, Russia and the United States. As the conflict has developed these two actors have been active within the conflict both militarily and diplomatically. This outlines the research problem, why these actors have had an interest in Syria. The aim of this research is to find explanations of why the two countries have acted like they have in the conflict. The actions and events are analyzed through several concepts drawn from two international relations theories, namely neoliberalism and neorealism. Some core concepts of the theories are operationalized into several indicators which make up the model used in the analysis. Furthermore, the thesis is considered as being a most similar comparative case study using qualitative methods. The main findings in the analysis shows that many of the actions by both Russia and the United States can be explained through both theories. Neorealism shows of being more suitable when explaining military events and neoliberalism is found to be better at explaining diplomatic or non-military matters.

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