Ferdinand Arslanian is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the University of St Andrews, Centre for Syrian Studies. His thesis focuses on how Syria has managed to cope with economic sanctions. He holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Kent at Canterbury and has previous professional experience in Syria as a public policy advisor with the German International Cooperation (GIZ). Arslanian has authored the following publications: ‘Growth in Transition and Syria’s Economic Performance’ (Syria Studies, 2009), ‘The Civil War in Syria: The International Dimension’ (Global Policy, 2015) and the book review ‘Mohammed Imady, The Evolving Concepts of Development in Syria’ (Syria Studies, 2015). He is also a recipient of the Calouste Gulbenkian Global Excellence Scholarship and would like to acknowledge the Foundation’s support in producing this article.