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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

3. Human Security Versus National Security: Kurds, Turkey and Syrian Rojava

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Abstract

This chapter emphasizes the human security concerns of the Kurds and how it shapes their threat perception in the Middle East. The security dimension of nationalism has been mostly understudied as many studies on nationalism have focused on the political and social dimensions. However, both for state nationalisms and minority nationalisms, security aspect remains an important dimension in the emergence and path dependency of nationalist discourses. Yet, what these nationalisms understand from security differ to a great extent. While state nationalism prioritizes the security of the state in the sense of its territorial integrity and the interests of “national security” defined by state actors, minority nationalisms tend to define security in broader terms which is beyond the state-centric approach. The security understanding of minority nationalisms tend to be closer to what the United Nations Development Programme framed as “human security.” This article attempts to examine the function of nationalism as an instrument of security which is understood differently by state and minority group actors through an analysis of the emergence and historical evolution of Turkey’s Kurdish question. Recent events such as the so-called Kurdish Opening, peace process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), renewed violence and Turkey’s ambiguous approach to the Kurds under the Islamic State threat in Syria, and the rising popularity of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will be discussed within the theoretical framework of competing security understandings of state and non-state actors.
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Metadata
Title
Human Security Versus National Security: Kurds, Turkey and Syrian Rojava
Author
Serhun Al
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-53715-3_3

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