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Title: Politics, security and the construction of protracted social conflicts, with special reference to the conflict between the Turkish State and the Kurdistan Workers' Party
Author: de Carvalho Barrinha, Andre Filipe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 6662
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis offers a theoretical revision of Edward Azar's Protracted Social Conflicts (PSCs) model under the light of a politically constructed world. It argues that politics, as a central element in the unfolding of an armed conflict, has to be understood by focusing on discursive practices that transform political issues into security issues - what the Copenhagen School calls a 'securitisation process'. This thesis analyses how, in a PSC context, these processes take place, unfold and lead to the approval of exceptional measures that tend to be reified as part of the normal functioning of the political system. This normalisation of the exceptional creates additional barriers to the resolution of the conflict as it reifies discourses of 'otherness ' as part of daily life. Overcoming these discourses and bringing the conflict 'back' to the political level, is also an important part of this research. The international dimension of these conflicts will also be analysed, particularly through the prism of the Regional Security Complex Theory. It will be seen how PSCs generate regional and international dynamics that go beyond the mainstream understanding of international relations. The conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) will be used to illustrate and operationalise this thesis' main arguments. Derived from this illustration and operationalisation it will be possible to provide new insights into this specific conflict. It will be analysed, among other things, how Turkey's securitisation of the PKK evolved within a previously securitised context and, how that has led to the normalisation o f an aggressive political discourse, which has, until 2008, prevented the resolution of the conflict.
Supervisor: Miall, Hugh ; Hammerstad, Anne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: J Political Science