Heiko Wimmen is a research associate in the Middle East and Africa division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik - SWP) in Berlin and the coordinator of the research project "Elite Change and New Social Mobilization in the Arab World". He previously served as the program manager and deputy director at the Middle East office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Beirut (2004-2009) and as a professional fellow on the Social Science Research Council (2002-2004). He has also worked as an independent broadcast producer in Beirut. His recent publications include “The civil war in Syria and the impotence of international politics” (with Muriel Asseburg in Marc V. Boemecken et al. (ed.), Peace Report 2013, LIT-Verlag); “Civil War in Syria” (with Muriel Asseburg, SWP Comments 2012/C 43, December 2012); “The Violent Power Struggle in Syria (with Muriel Asseburg, SWP Comments 2012/C 09, March 2012); and “Citizens of the Void: Power-Sharing and Civic Political Action in Lebanon” (in Democratic Transition in the Middle East: Unmaking Power, New York: Routledge, 2012). His current research focuses on the dynamics of social mobilization and political systems in peace building processes in religiously and ethnically diverse societies.