By Kamran Bokhari
Throughout history, nations and regimes have been forged in war. However, in the modern age, it is believed that nation-states and democratic regimes can be formed through a more civilized process, involving negotiations, bargaining and compromise. In the Arab world, nation-states are now crumbling, putting this modern method of state building to the test. Governments and territorial boundaries are being challenged by non-state groups, as we will see through the examples of Syria and Afghanistan. To try and contain this growing anarchy, the United States and the wider international community are steering the various countries in conflict toward Western-style governance. This approach towards peace building in Arab countries (and even in many parts of the broader Muslim world) is unlikely to succeed due to the autocratic nature of both the incumbent regimes and those challenging them.
Redefining the Syrian State
Syria is the best example of a country wher