Security Sector Reform in Post-war Syria: A Security Needs Assessment among the Syrian Diaspora in Germany

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Beck, Nora-Elise (Lanosec, Berlin)
  • Döbert, Lars (Lanosec, Berlin)
Publication Date
  • Principal Investigator (Data Collector)
  • Abstract

    The aim of the survey is to examine perceptions and attitudes towards security sector reform in Syria. It is about how Syrians imagine an ideal security sector, or a reform process to that effect, for their country in order to regain confidence in state security provision. The population is made up of Syrians between the ages of 15-45 who currently live in Germany. The selection was made by a snowball or availability sample. The questionnaire consists of 5 parts, includes 63 questions in High Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic) and is online-based (CAWI). Topics: Basic understanding of security sector reform (query of 5 central termini: rule of law, human rights, civilian oversight, good governance and security sector reform). Experiences of insecurity and injustice in Syria before and during the war: personal definition of security; sense of security in different places in Syria before and during the war; experience of insecurity and injustice: most frequent and serious types of insecurity and injustice before and during the war in Syria (e.g. domestic violence by family members or spouses, etc.); personal experience (resp. experience of a person close to the respondent ) of different types of insecurity and injustice; assessment of the extent of repression and violence in the place of residence, in the governorate and in the country before the war in Syria and during the war by state security forces and non-state armed groups; most responsible institutions for repression and violence before the war in Syria and during the war. General assessment of state security institutions (army, police and intelligence agencies): before the Syrian war a distinction was possible between the major security providers; knowledge of various processes, institutions, roles and responsibilities in the Syrian Arab Republic; agreement to statements regarding the security providers before the war in Syria: responded to the needs of the Syrian people, provided high quality services to citizens, well trained and equipped, applied the law equally and fairly to all citizens, overlapping of roles and responsibilities; deficits of the state security providers before the war in Syria (e.g. widespread corruption); assessment of the Syrian justice system before the war in Syria with regard to the protection of all citizens from human rights abuses and equal treatment of all citizens before the law. Ideas of an ideal security sector for Syria: most important characteristics of a functioning security sector; need for security sector reform after the end of the war in Syria; after the end of the war in Syria, the security sector needs to be built from scratch; all security forces need to be dismantled; all militias need to hand over their weapons; importance of various entities (e.g. president) in leading a future security sector reform process in Syria; government as a contact in an ideal world in future personal danger situations; reasons for this attitude (e.g. responsibility of the state for the security of citizens); reasons why the respondent would not turn to the state in personal danger situations; preferred alternative contact persons in personal danger situations; demands for post-war Syria: Security providers should respond to the needs of all citizens; police should be the responsible entity to provide security for citizens; importance of equal participation of men and women in security forces; acceptance of a professional activity of one´s own daughter in the security forces; intelligence agencies play a crucial role for the security of the state; security officials that commit crimes against citizens should be brought to court; the death penalty should be abolished; countries or institutions that should be asked for support for rebuilding the country as well as for rebuilding the security sector; in post-war Syria, decisions affecting the security of citizens should be taken in the governorates and not in the capital; in post-war Syria, security providers should be put under civilian oversight; preferred institution(s) to be in charge of oversight; preferences for the future Minister of Defence and Minister of the Interior in post-war Syria; in post-war Syria, there should be specific security providers only serving the protection of the president; conditions for the return to Syria (e.g. democratically elected president). Demography: sex; age (year of birth); religion; last place of residence in Syria (governorate of); place of residence in Syria (town, village, refugee camp); marital status; highest level of education attained in Syria; activity before leaving the country; year of leaving Syria; year of arrival in Germany; reasons for leaving the country. Additionally coded: respondent ID; respondent No.; start and end of the interview (date, time); English translation variable; group membership.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2018-03-26 / 2018-08-11
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
Syrians between 15-45 years of age currently living in Germany
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 386
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA6982 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 15 | Registration Date: 2020-03-11