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Title: Why peace processes fail : a conceptual analysis of the peace talks between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), 2009-2015
Author: Savran, Arin Y.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 7551
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis seeks to contribute to the literature exploring the prospects and obstacles to peace processes. The case study is based on the failed peace process between the Republic of Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) during 2009-2015. It offers a conceptual analysis of the changes in interests, attitudes and relationships that led to the emergence of a peace process but also which influenced its collapse. In doing so, the study draws from conflict resolution theories to analyse the case using the five transformers framework: context transformation, structural transformation, actor transformation, issue transformation, and personal and group transformation (Ramsbotham et al. 2005; 2016). The study found that the conflict became tractable not through external interventions or hurting stalemates as classical theories would hold, but through powerful intellectual leadership that moved beyond strict nationalist imaginaries to adopt different post-nationalist frameworks that emphasised solving the Kurdish question non-violently. Little is known about this type of endogenous peace process in the literature. Likewise, the study also found that, contrary to conventional wisdom on hurting stalemates, talks failed when parties reached near power parity following large and rapid shifts in the distribution of power in the region due to war in Syria and Iraq. A substantially empowered PKK emerged, causing great Turkish fears and uncertainty about implications to status quo, as well as PKK overconfidence and disinterest in settlement. Adversaries resumed war in order to weaken each other and gain more from future concessions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Conflict resolution ; Peace processes ; Civil war ; Rebel transformation ; Power symmetry ; Turkey ; Syria ; Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) ; Kurds