Following the aforementioned overview of constructivism, including both its differences and similarities with realism, this theory can now be applied in the analysis of the Syrian conflict.
Its emphasis on the non-material factors and inclusion of history, ideas and identity allow a structured analysis of the convoluted aspects of the Syrian conflict.In the specificity of the Syrian case, the Syrian protesters who peacefully demonstrated publicly for democracy were brought to the streets through the awareness of a new collective national identity. They became aware of the ‘self’ and its irreconcilability with the oppressive ‘other’.
Assad forged a new ‘self-identity’ in response to the changing political climate, an identity of a legitimate ruler aiming to hold power despite the efforts of the ‘other’ (i.e. terrorists and dissidents). This led him to the brutal repression of protests.
However, the new national identity constructed by the Syrian people is far more sectarian, with divisions along ethnic and religious lines. This explains the fragmentations amongst the opposition forces; which resulted in further complications.