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Title: Beyond multiculturalism, away from state-oriented nationalism : self-rule through residential political communities in Kurdistan
Author: Baris, Hanifi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 6271
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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Can national liberation movements envisage self-rule without statehood? This research examines the politics of a national liberation movement that claims to do just that. The research focuses on the incessant quest for self-rule in Kurdistan in general and the politics of dominant Kurdish liberation movements in Turkey and Syria in particular – with regard to the kind of political community they aspire to found. The research reveals that a salient aspect of Kurdish politics has been its detachment from state-building, and that this aspect dominates the politics of Kurdish movements in Turkey and Syria. Likewise, their project for self-rule in Kurdistan envisages a political community that differs greatly from its competitors; i.e. the hegemonic nation-state and its main opposition Islamic Ummah. I note that the Kurdish model draws heavily on the growing literature in political theory about the inadequacy of representative institutions and the risks of appealing to the notion of national sovereignty. I emphasize that the project shifts the origin of sovereignty from 'the imagined community', i.e. the nation, to residential communities (note the plurality). I also highlight that the Kurdish model of political community is built upon the exercise of political power through direct and semi-direct forms of democracy. Popular councils and assemblies within municipalities appear as the ultimate regulatory institutions. Sovereignty, thus, is dispersed and fragmented throughout autonomous, yet co-existing, and ideally horizontally organized political entities such as towns and cities. Accordingly, the primary form of political organization is not territorial state, but autonomous municipality. I argue that the claim to self-rule in the model is not in the name of the nation, but of communities of settlement, e.g. villages, neighbourhoods, towns, and cities. In a world of nationstates, the Kurdish movements' politics is an interesting example of post-nationalist and post-sovereign claims.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Autonomy and independence movements ; Kurdistan