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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

9. The Stateless and Why Some Gain and Others not: The Case of Iranian Kurdistan

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Abstract

This chapter aims to develop a theory for the purpose of explaining variation in political gains among stateless nations. It is limited to a study on the Kurds in Iran, and seeks to explain their gains in the past, as well why they are lagging behind compared to their fellow Kurds in the Middle East. Three arguments are advanced. First, variation in political gains reflects the distribution of power or, alternatively, the balance of power between ethnic groups within a state. Second, the historical record shows that opportunities for political gains for the Kurds in Iran (and in neighboring countries) arise during circumstances when the balance of power between the Kurds and the ruling state is upset. These pertain, respectively, to external intervention by great powers; internal upheaval or revolution; and sustained guerilla warfare facilitated by rivalries between regional states. Third, the current (im)balance of power between the Kurds and the Iranian state account for their disadvantageous position compared to their fellow Kurds. In the absence of a shift in the balance of power in favor of the Kurds, this situation is likely to remain unchanged in the foreseeable future.
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Metadata
Title
The Stateless and Why Some Gain and Others not: The Case of Iranian Kurdistan
Author
Idris Ahmedi
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-53715-3_9

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