Many observers have dubbed the conflict in Syria (and rightly so) an international one, as regional and global powers compete through direct and proxy actors on Syrian territory. Their different forms of intervention
has both shaped and transformed the Syrian revolution, which started with local protests in March 2011 as a rejection to the untenable status quo. Among the many grievances that galvanized protestors, their deliberate exclusion from economic opportunities featured prominently in demonstrations throughout the country. The entrenchment of crony capitalism among the regime’s inner circle, or regime businessmen
, became the predominant characteristic of the Syrian political economy.