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The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism

Éditeur : Mazda Date & Lieu : 2007, Costa Mesa
Préface : Pages : 320
Traduction : ISBN : 1-56859-194-2
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 145x210 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Ahm. Evo. N°2921Thème : Politique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism

The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism

Mohammed M. A. Ahmed
Michael M. Gunter

Mazda Publishers

In the past decade, Kurdish nationalism has begun to evolve dramatically in ways that are affecting both the Middle East and international politics. For example,' Kurdish; nationalism is profoundly affecting the-future of Iraq and therefore the foreign policies of not only the United States but also such regional states, as Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. All these states see the development of Iraqi Kurdish nationalism as challenging their territorial integrity. Kurdish nationalism is also profoundly influencing Turkey’s candidacy for membership in the European Union (EU), Turkish membership in the EU has major implications for the future of European and international politics.

The purpose of this collection of tightly integrated essays written by recognized experts in the field is to trace systematically the evolution of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria to its present stage of geostrategic importance. There is no other work that deals with this current situation. Thus, this, work will be distinctive and original.


Mazda Publishers is delighted to bring readers The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism as the seventh volume in its Kurdish Studies Series. It is an excellent companion to Essays on the Origins of Kurdish Nationalism edited by Abbas Vali (2003) and The Kurdish Question and the 2003 Iraqi War edited by Mohammed Ahmed and Michael Gunter (2005). The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism fills gaps in the evolvement and consolidation of Kurdish nationalism not covered in the above-mentioned two books. These three books offer readers the most comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the status of Kurdish nationalism throughout the 20th century and the first five years of the 21 century. All three volumes offer scholars, policy makers and interested readers the latest research by the best authorities in the field. For the first time, studies using Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic and Persian sources are presented to readers, offering research and insights not included in David McDowall’s A Modem History of the Kurds (1996; 2000). Another attraction of The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism is that it offers studies detailing aspects of the consolidation of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria, both before and after the US invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003. The contributions also make clear the great influence that the US occupation of Iraq is having on Kurdish nationalist movements in Turkey, Iran and Syria as well as the attraction of developments in Kurdistan-Iraq on the Kurds in these countries.

The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism, together with the three books mentioned above, provides analyses of how Kurdish nationalism has evolved and the challenge it presents to the regional states, as a transnational threat. It will become one of the main issues, if not the principle issue, in the regional politics of the Middle East. Kurdish nationalism and its manifestations have also become a global issue as a result of the US war and occupation of Iraq, affecting everything from the price of oil to potential armed conflict between the US (and its allies) and Iran. In this regard, The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism provides essential coverage to Robert Olson’s The Goat and the Butcher: Nationalism and State Formation in Kurdistan-Iracj since the Iraqi War (2003), which deals with the strengthening of Kurdish nationalism in Kurdistan-Iraq, Turkey’s acquiescence to this consolidation and the role that these developments played in US efforts to implement the Wider Middle East Initiative (WMEI).
Mazda Publishers is happy to be able to present the current volume, which resulted from an international conference sponsored by the Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies held in Boston on the 3-4 September 2005. The Ahmed Foundation contributes to Kurdish studies by arranging conferences on defined topics addressed by the top scholars in the field. Mazda Publishers allows these crucial studies to be published in a timely fashion. Mazda Publishers and I, as General Editor of the Kurdish Series, hope that these studies will contribute to earnest talks among the parties involved leading to negotiated resolutions that avoid prolonged armed conflict. Since the origin of the Foundation for Kurdish Studies in 1997 to the present, one thing has become clear—Kurdish nationalism and the struggle of the Kurds for cultural and political rights is here to stay. It is my fond wish that the political polities of the Middle East will be able to evolve to politically absorb the consequences of the evolution of Kurdish nationalism.

Robert Olson
Kurdish Studies Series Editor
University of Kentucky
14 February 2006


In recent years there has been an exponential growth of rich and penetrating theoretical analyses of nationalism. Although it is the largest nation in the world without its own independent state, however, little has been written about the evolution of Kurdish nationalism.1 This is probably because the Kurds lack their own state and continue to languish in a form of internal colonialism that has stunted the full development of their nationalism. Since the development of modern nation-states in the Middle East following World War I, the Kurds have been divided into what Kurdish nationalists refer to as Turkish (Northern), Iraqi (Southern), Iranian (Eastern), and Syrian (Western) Kurdistan. In addition, virtually every observer has noted the negative effect of such primordial divisions as tribe, language, and geography upon the Kurds. Until recently. Kurdish nationalism seemed stuck in a time warp from which other nationalisms had emerged almost a century ago.

Recently, however, Kurdish nationalism has begun to flower, in part, as a reaction to the repressive “state nationalisms”2 of the Arabs, Turks, and Iranians. Since the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the creation of a de facto Kurdish state in northern Iraq, for example, Kurdish nationalism has enjoyed tremendous strides in Iraq. The War in 2003 to eliminate Saddam Hussein's rule in Iraq has furthered this process, while the permanent constitution adopted by Iraq in October 2005, if implemented, will institutionalize this situation. These events in Iraqi Kurdistan also have encouraged the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, and Syria to demand their national rights. Even more, of course, the long-running guerrilla war carried out by the Kurdistan …

1 See, however, the theoretical essays on Kurdish nationalism in general, Abbas Vali, ed„ Essays on the Origins of Kurdish Nationalism (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers. 2003).

2 For an analysis of this concept, see Hugh Seton-Watson, Nations and States: An Enquiry into the Origins of Nations and the Politics of Nationalism (Boulder: Westview, 1977). p. 148.

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