Default user image.

Helen Avery

Default user image.

Futures as seen from the diaspora – the Syria 2040 workshops


  • Salam Said
  • Zoya Masoud
  • Helen Avery

Summary, in English

The Syria 2040 workshops were initiated in 2016 by the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics and the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, and ran for one and a half years, using scenario methodology. Syrians with diverse backgrounds and political standpoints, living in Sweden and other European countries, collectively reflected on possible scenarios for future developments in Syria. Since the debate in situations of conflict tends to be structured around the immediate conflict (and those who “win” or lose through this), it can be especially constructive to reflect on a longer time perspective. Also, many discussion fora are directed by particular interest groups or are financed by international actors with their own interests in the outcome. The workshops were intended as a space where more open discussions could take place across dividing lines, considering ways forward.
This presentation focuses on reflections from one of these workshops, which dealt with possible roles for the Syrian diaspora and civil society. Although various factions and diverging agendas of the diaspora might sustain and aggravate tensions it was concluded that the diaspora can play a constructive role provided that it learns how to play a more active part and find suitable structures.


  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • International Migration and Ethnic Relations
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Conference name

The Refugees, Borders and Membership Conference

Conference date

2018-10-24 - 2018-10-26

Conference place

Malmö, Sweden