Syria Peace Polls

Colin Irwin, Politics, University of Liverpool

In the context of the on-going war in Syria I have been asked to write two short editorial style articles on Peace Polls for the openDemocracy advocacy website. The first article ‘Making Peace Through Polls’ introduced the concept of Peace Polls, how they were developed in Northern Ireland as part of their successful peace process and why they have failed to produce the same result in Israel, Palestine and Syria. The second article ‘Ignore public opinion at your own peril’ takes this theme a little further and suggests that the failure to systematically monitor public opinion in conflict situations has contributed to the present international crisis in Islam, in the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia, in Europe and around the world. Specifically, in Syria, the polling that has been published suggests that the people of Syria could reach a peace agreement if only their views were given priority over the interests of regional and global superpowers. I hope you enjoy the stories and please get back to me if you have the funding for a Peace Poll!