Interview with Dr. Daniel Serwer onTransition in Syria
This week the SJAC interviewsDr. Daniel Serwer ,w ho brings his expertise to bear upon issues of transitional justice in Syria. Dr. Serwer is a Professor of Conflict Management, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, at theJohns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a Scholar at the Middle East Institute and served twice as a Vice President at the United StatesInstitute of Peace. Dr. Serwer was the Executive Director of theHamilton/Baker Iraq Study Group and has worked on preventing interethnic and sectarian conflict in Iraq and has facilitated dialoguebetween Serbs and Albanians in the Balkans. He blogs at peacefare.net .
The conflict in Syria has been described as possibly the most well-documented modern conflict. Is this an important fact, do you think it willhave any significance going forward?
DS: I do think documentation is important, as it will limit factualdisputes in the future and may provide some basis for future effortsat justice and reconciliation. Documentation also helps to sustaininternational interest, which has been less than the revolutionariesmight like but more than would have existed otherwise.But it is also important to recognize that not all the documentationbeing collected will be relevant to questions of individualresponsibility or meet the standards required in a court. Judicialstandards are very exacting. To meet them will require preservationof sites and government records in Syria. That may be very difficult,depending on how the end of the Assad regime comes about.