Damascus in the Syrian Uprising
The paper inquires into patterns of mobilisation and protest seen in Damascus. It explores three features of the Damascene urban setting that help to explain and understand these patterns: first, the fragmentation of subaltern identities where sectarian identification is an element of urban divisions; second, the inscription of apparatuses of violence in urban space in a manner that deepens divisions and manipulates sectarian identification; third, a particular pattern of urban reconfiguration by virtue of which segments of subaltern migrant populations are positioned as buffers between the regime and other subaltern groups. These features of urban space in Damascus underscore the importance of the history and character of urban reconfiguration as factors determining the shape and course of popular protest and mobilisation during revolutionary periods. In this respect, the paper provides a brief sketch of the reconfiguration of Damascus under the rule of the al-Asad regime to allow for a more nuanced view of the differentiated subaltern subjectivities participating in the popular uprising.