Kurdish Studies journal published its new issue in October2020 as Volume: 8, No: 2.
Kurdish Studies is an interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing high quality research and scholarship. The journal’s mission is to revitalize and reorient research, scholarship and debates in the field of Kurdish studies in a multidisciplinary fashion covering a wide range of topics.
Excerpt from Marlene Schäfers’s Editorial about the content
“The current issue brings you a rich and wide-ranging collection of excellent articles. It opens with Metin Atmaca’s interview with David McDowall, author of one of the key reference texts in Kurdish studies, A Modern History of the Kurds. With a new, extended version of the book about to be released, McDowall sheds light on the making of this landmark publication and reflects on the changing dynamics of the Kurdish question.
Next, Ronay Bakan’s article provides a fine-grained analysis of the socio-spatial dynamics of urban warfare in the Kurdish region of Turkey. Focusing on the 2015 armed conflict in Suriçi, Diyarbakır, Bakan deftly shows how the spatial characteristics of the urban built environment and the social relations they encouraged played a key role in the unfolding of military conflict. Her article highlights the need to take material and spatial aspects seriously in our analyses of the political.
Hazal Hürman’s contribution, too, focuses on the Kurdish regions in Turkey, yet moves into the realm of the law. Hers is an ethnographic account of the way in which Kurdish children come into contact with and experience the law as they navigate contemporary urban spaces in Turkey. Hürman provides a striking analysis of how the state effectively abandons children tried under the terms of its anti-terror legislation and how this in turn encourages other social actors to sanction, punish and survey Kurdish children in their daily lives.
Michael Knapp and Joost Jongerden follow with a detailed account of the justice system in the autonomously administered region of Rojava in north and east Syria. They show how the peace committees and platforms that have been institutionalised in the region form an integral part of the model of self-administration promoted by the Kurdish movement and how “doing justice” forms part of a broader project to remake society.
Cihan Erdost Akin’s contribution retains the focus on Rojava, yet turns to the ways in which the Kurdish self-administration is perceived and portrayed in Western media. His analysis reveals how the discursive framing of Rojava as either revolution or separatist rebellion remains limited by hegemonic imaginations of the state, rendering an alternative to capitalism and the nation-state unthinkable.
David Romano takes us to the neighbouring Kurdish Region of Iraq, where he investigates the factors that shape the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) foreign policy making. Romano finds that the degree of regime consolidation plays a crucial role in how sub-state actors like the KRG act politically, showing how the recent decline in unity and consolidation of the Kurdish government has led to more risky foreign policies. His insights have relevance beyond the KRG alone and provide a useful point of comparison with other para and sub-state contexts.
Finally, Martin van Bruinessen’s article reviews three recent publications on Alevi and Zaza communities in Turkey. Questions of linguistic, religious and political identity feature strongly in these books, complicating and nuancing our understanding of Kurdishness and Kurdish identity.”
Content of the new issue
· Kurds and their history: An interview with David McDowall, Metin Atmaca
· Peace committees, platforms and the political ordering of society: Doing justice in the Federation of Northern and Eastern Syria (NES), Michael Knapp, Joost Jongerden
· Zeki Sarigil, Ethnic Boundaries in Turkish Politics: The Secular Kurdish Movement and Islam, Martin van Bruinessen, PDF