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Ambiguous Interplays: Kurdish Diaspora Mobilisation in Denmark from Kobane to Afrin

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning

This PhD thesis investigates how the Kurdish diaspora in Denmark mobilised in support of the Kurdish struggle in Syria during the civil war. Spanning in time from the battle of Kobane (2014) to the defeat in Afrin (2018), the study analyses the Kurdish activism in three arenas in the Danish societies encompassing political lobbyism,courtroom activism and humanitarian action. Drawing on social movement theory and ethnographic fieldwork among Kurdish activists and organisations, the study argues that the ambiguous recognition ofvarious actors in the Danish society represents the main challenge for the Kurdish activists in terms of success. Moreover, it points to the significance of intra-Kurdish rivalry, notably between the Öcalan movement and the Kurdistan movement. Beside these two major groupings, the study also identifies a third and heterogeneous group of activists, who try to steer fee of the rivalry pursuing independent goals. The thesis contributes to the understanding of the mobilisation of the Kurdish diaspora during war in the homeland. In particular, the study analyses the strategic interaction between the Kurdish diaspora community and the Danish authorities, both engaged in the war against Islamic State but on different terms. The thesis also contributes to the understanding of the position of the Syrian Kurds within the diaspora, who like the Kurds in Syria have been ignored up until recently. The battle against Islamic State – and the unprecedented scale of Kurdish diaspora activism – generated new positions and formulations of Kurdish identity. These include alter-territorial identification, as the thesis argues, which represents identification with another part of Kurdistan than the place of origin.
ForlagKøbenhavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet
Antal sider251
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2019


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