Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hilary Appel

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© YYYY Elizabeth E Wainstein


Over the past few decades, the Middle East has been an arena in which the great powers of the world compete to demonstrate their abilities as global leaders. Both regional and international powers have been drawn into the ongoing Syrian Civil War, trying to effect the outcome of the conflict and the ultimate balance of power. Russia has been one of the most-influential players throughout the war, intervening militarily, politically and economically. This thesis aims to determine the objectives and success of Moscow’s involvement across the region and to utilize Syria as a window into Russia’s greater foreign policy agenda.

Based on an analysis of the Syrian conflict as a whole, the actions taken by Russia before and after its military intervention, and the change in relationships between Moscow and leaders across the region, this thesis seeks to identify Russia’s overarching motivations. Russia has successfully saved a failing partner regime, solidified influence across the region, and strengthened relationships with power players throughout the Middle East and North Africa. By presenting itself as a counterweight to the United States, Russia has successfully utilized the desire for stability to establish itself as a partner and mediator throughout the region, forcing countries across the globe to cooperate with Moscow. Through its involvement in the Syrian conflict, Russia has a spot at the international negotiating table, moving towards its goal of restoring Russia’s great power status.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.