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The Kurdish Movement and the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria: An alternative to the (nation-)state model?

Dinc, Pinar LU (2020) In Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 22(1). p.47-67
Abstract
Is the Rojava model really deconstructing the model of a state or is it potentially a new state form? Does the ‘democratic confederalism’ model that the Kurdish movement claims to be implementing in Northern Syria draw on/reproduce different modes of identity/belonging than that of the nation and the state? This paper argues that the shift from a nationalist movement towards a project that offers a stateless solution seems to be incomplete and needs to be further questioned. The first section begins with a brief discussion of the notion of statelessness and the historical background and ideological transformation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its ‘paradigm-shift’. The second section shows that despite positive aspects towards a... (More)
Is the Rojava model really deconstructing the model of a state or is it potentially a new state form? Does the ‘democratic confederalism’ model that the Kurdish movement claims to be implementing in Northern Syria draw on/reproduce different modes of identity/belonging than that of the nation and the state? This paper argues that the shift from a nationalist movement towards a project that offers a stateless solution seems to be incomplete and needs to be further questioned. The first section begins with a brief discussion of the notion of statelessness and the historical background and ideological transformation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its ‘paradigm-shift’. The second section shows that despite positive aspects towards a post-national stateless model, the narratives of the representatives of the Kurdish political movement in Rojava display nationalist elements by prioritizing the Kurds and their cultural identity and a political power at the top of which Öcalan’s personality cult stands; and engages with the concept of the multitude, proposed by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri whose work on radical democracy is theoretically relevant to the Rojava model. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Kurdish politics, Rojava, Democratic confedaralism, nation making, State formation, Middle East
in
Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies
volume
22
issue
1
pages
47 - 67
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85078406759
DOI
10.1080/19448953.2020.1715669
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ce6237c3-d023-4d85-9f22-7bf15cb90fdf
date added to LUP
2019-06-03 10:31:32
date last changed
2020-10-07 06:32:00
@article{ce6237c3-d023-4d85-9f22-7bf15cb90fdf,
  abstract     = {Is the Rojava model really deconstructing the model of a state or is it potentially a new state form? Does the ‘democratic confederalism’ model that the Kurdish movement claims to be implementing in Northern Syria draw on/reproduce different modes of identity/belonging than that of the nation and the state? This paper argues that the shift from a nationalist movement towards a project that offers a stateless solution seems to be incomplete and needs to be further questioned. The first section begins with a brief discussion of the notion of statelessness and the historical background and ideological transformation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its ‘paradigm-shift’. The second section shows that despite positive aspects towards a post-national stateless model, the narratives of the representatives of the Kurdish political movement in Rojava display nationalist elements by prioritizing the Kurds and their cultural identity and a political power at the top of which Öcalan’s personality cult stands; and engages with the concept of the multitude, proposed by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri whose work on radical democracy is theoretically relevant to the Rojava model.},
  author       = {Dinc, Pinar},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {47--67},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies},
  title        = {The Kurdish Movement and the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria: An alternative to the (nation-)state model?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19448953.2020.1715669},
  doi          = {10.1080/19448953.2020.1715669},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2020},
}