Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in the Syrian Kurdistan
Author: Michael Knapp,Ercan Ayboga,Anja Flach
Given the widespread violence and suffering in Syria, it's not unreasonable that outsiders look at the situation as unrelentingly awful. And while the reality of the devastation is undeniable, there is reason for hope in at least one small pocket of the nation: the cantons of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan, where in the wake of war people are quietly building one of the most progressive societies in the world today.Revolution in Rojavatells the story of Rojava's groundbreaking experiment in what they call democratic confederalism, a communally organized democracy that is fiercely anti-capitalist and committed to female equality, while rejecting reactionary nationalist ideologies. Rooted in the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the system is built on effective gender quotas, bottom-up democratic structures, far-sighted ecological policies, and a powerful militancy that has allowed the region to keep ISIS at bay. This first full-length study of democratic developments in Rojava tells an extraordinary and powerfully hopeful story of a little-known battle for true freedom in dark times. "
Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan
Author: Michael Knapp (Historian),Anja Flach,Ercan Ayboga
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
"Surrounded by enemies including ISIS and hostile Turkish forces, the people in Syria’s Rojava region are carving out one of the most radically progressive societies on the planet. Visitors have been astounded by the success of their project, a communally organised democracy which considers women’s equality indispensable, has a deep-reaching ecological policies, and rejects reactionary nationalist ideology. This form of organization, labeled democratic confederalism, is both fiercely anti-capitalist and boasts a self-defense capacity which is keeping ISIS from their gates. Drawing on their own firsthand experiences of working and fighting in the region, the authors provide the first detailed account of a revolutionary experiment and a new vision of politics and society in the Middle East and beyond"--Back cover.
Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in the Middle East
Author: Michael Knapp,Ercan Ayboga,Anja Flach
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
Given the widespread violence and suffering in Syria, it's not unreasonable that outsiders look at the situation as unrelentingly awful. And while the reality of the devastation is undeniable, there is reason for hope in at least one small pocket of the nation: the cantons of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan, where in the wake of war people are quietly building one of the most progressive societies in the world today. Revolution in Rojava tells the story of Rojava's groundbreaking experiment in what they call democratic confederalism, a communally organized democracy that is fiercely anti-capitalist and committed to female equality, while rejecting reactionary nationalist ideologies. Rooted in the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the system is built on effective gender quotas, bottom-up democratic structures, far-sighted ecological policies, and a powerful militancy that has allowed the region to keep ISIS at bay. This first full-length study of democratic developments in Rojava tells an extraordinary and powerfully hopeful story of a little-known battle for true freedom in dark times.
The Great Syrian Revolt of 1925 was the largest and longest-lasting anti-colonial insurgency in the inter-war Arab East. Mobilizing peasants, workers, and army veterans, rather than urban elites and nationalist intellectuals, it was the first mass movement against colonial rule in the Middle East. The revolt failed to liberate Syria from French occupation, but it provided a model of popular nationalism and resistance that remains potent in the Middle East today. Each subsequent Arab uprising against foreign rule has repeated the language and tactics of the Great Syrian Revolt. In this work, Michael Provence uses newly released secret colonial intelligence sources, neglected memoirs, and popular memory to tell the story of the revolt from the perspective of its participants. He shows how Ottoman-subsidized military education created a generation of leaders of modest background who came to rebel against both the French Mandate rulers of Syria and the Syrian intellectuals and landowners who helped the colonial regime to function. This new popular nationalism was unprecedented in the Arab world. Provence shows compellingly that the Great Syrian Revolt was a formative event in shaping the modern Middle East.
In this essay Öcalan's political project, the Democratic Confederalism, is developed systematically. A fundamental criticism of the nation state is followed by a description of its possible alternative, a transnational grass-roots democracy. The texts that form this essay have been compiled from several of Öcalan's, as of today, still untranslated books.
Civilization: The Age of Masked Gods and Disguised Kings
Author: Abdullah Ocalan
This manifesto is the definitive work of Abdullah Ocalan, crucial for understanding the Kurdish revolution. Here Ocalan outlines a democratic alternative for the Middle East. A criticism that limits itself to capitalism is too superficial, Ocalan argues, and turns his eyes to the underlying structures of civilization. Rethinking the methods of understanding culture, politics, and society, he provides the tools for what he calls a sociology of freedom. In this work, Abdullah Ocalan distills 35 years of revolutionary theory and praxis and 10 years of solitary confinement in Turkish prisons. These reflections represent the essence of his ideas on society, knowledge, and power."
In mid-2012 the previously almost forgotten Syrian Kurds suddenly emerged as a potential game-changer in the country's civil war when in an attempt to consolidate its increasingly desperate position the Assad government abruptly withdrew its troops from the major Kurdish areas in Syria. The Kurds in Syria had suddenly won autonomy, a situation that has huge implications for neighboring Turkey and the near independent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. Indeed, their precipitous rise may prove a tipping-point that alters the boundaries imposed on the Middle East by the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. These important events and what they portend for the future are scrutinized by the renowned scholar of the Kurds Michael Gunter. He also analyses the sudden rise of Salih Muslim and his Democratic Union Party (PYD) - which was created by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and remains affiliated to it - and the extremely complex and deadly fighting between factions of the Syrian Opposition affiliated with al-Qaeda such as the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists and the PYD, among others.
David Romano's 2006 book focuses on the Kurdish case to try and make sense of ethnic nationalist resurgence generally. In a world rent by a growing number of such conflicts, the questions posed about why, how and when such challenges to the state are mounted are becoming increasingly urgent. Throughout the author analyses these questions through the lens of social movement theory, considering in particular politico-social structures, resource mobilization strategies and cultural identity. His conclusions offer some thought-provoking insights into Kurdish nationalism, as well as into the strengths and weaknesses of various social movement theories. While the book offers a rigorous conceptual approach, the empirical material - the result of the author's personal experiences - makes it a compelling read. It will find a readership amongst students of the Middle East, and also amongst those interested in ethnic relations, minority rights, terrorism, state repression, social movement theories and many other related issues.
Dilar Dirik,David Levi Strauss,Michael Taussig,Peter Lamborn Wilson
Author: Dilar Dirik,David Levi Strauss,Michael Taussig,Peter Lamborn Wilson
A new collection of articles and essays concerning the Rojava Revolution, including contributions from: David Levi Strauss, Bill Weinberg, David Graeber, Pinar Öğünç, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Newsha Tavakolian, Havin Güneşer, Saleh Muslim & Jonas Staal, Murat Bay, Abdullah Öcalan, Nazan Üstündağ, El Errante / Paul Z. Simons, Dilar Dirik, and Michael Taussig. Plus The Charter of the Rojava Cantons and other related resources.
There's a revolution going on in northern Syria, one that challenges everything we know about government and society and freedom. With centuries of ethnic oppression behind them, their backs against the embargo wall of Turkey, and the ruthless forces of the Islamic State laying siege to their cities, the people of Rojava are trying what might be the most ambitious social experiment of our times. Two-and-a-half million people are trying to live without a nationstate, using direct democracy to build a society ruled from the bottom up. As the Syrian civil war rages, the Kurds and other ethnic groups of Rojava fight for autonomy, feminism, ecological stewardship, cooperative economics, and ethnic, linguistic, and religious pluralism. It behooves us to understand their struggle as best we can. This book, compiling the words of militia members and academics alike, lays out the Rojava Revolution in plain language.
Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy
Author: Murray Bookchin
Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE
"Many similarities exist between the new movements against austerity that have emerged since 2011, ranging from Taksim Square in Turkey to the Chilean student protests, and from Greece to NYC. One of them is their return to the principles of direct democracy and their organization around popular assemblies. These ideas are hardly new - Murray Bookchin, who is one of the leading anarchist thinkers of the twentieth century, has been elaborating ideas about popular assemblies for several decades that have influenced thinkers such as David Harvey. The Next Revolution brings together Bookchin's writings on popular assemblies for the first time, just as his ideas are rekindling the radical imagination worldwide"--
"Seymour's obsessively researched, impressive first book holds its place as the most authoritative historical analysis of its kind."—Resurgence All empires spin self-serving myths, and in the United States the most potent of these is that America is a force for democracy around the world. Yet there is a tradition of American anti-imperialism which gives the lie to this mythology. Richard Seymour examines this complex relationship from the Revolution to the present-day. Richard Seymour is a socialist writer and runs the blog Lenin's Tomb. He is the author of The Liberal Defense of Murder. His articles have appeared in the Guardian and New Statesman.
Crack Capitalism, argues that radical change can only come about through the creation, expansion and multiplication of weak points, or "cracks" in the capitalist system. John Holloway's previous book, Change the World Without Taking Power, sparked a world-wide debate among activists about the most effective methods of resisting capitalism. Now Holloway rejects the idea of a disconnected plurality of struggles and finds a unifying contradiction -- the opposition between the time we spend working as part of the system and our excess "doing" where we revolt and refuse to be subsumed. Clearly and accessibly presented in the form of 33 theses, Crack Capitalism is set to reopen the debate among radical scholars and activists seeking to break capitalism.
The author explores how the north Kurdish region of Iraq morphed into an internationally recognized quasi-state and explains how this change has influenced the relationship between the Kurds and Iraq's central government.
Cooperatives the world over are successfully developing alternative models of decision-making, employment and operation without the existence of managers, executives and hierarchies. Through case studies spanning the US, Latin America and Europe, including valuable new work on the previously neglected cooperative movement in Cuba, Peter Ranis explores how cooperatives have evolved in response to the economic crisis. Going further yet, Ranis makes the novel argument that the constitutionally enshrined principle of 'eminent domain' can in fact be harnessed to create and defend worker cooperatives. Combining the work of key radical theorists, including Marx, Gramsci and Luxemburg, with that of contemporary political economists, such as Block, Piketty and Stiglitz, Cooperatives Confront Capitalism provides what is perhaps the most far-reaching analysis yet of the ideas, achievements and wider historical context of the cooperative movement.
The Kurds, once marginal in the study of the Middle East and secondary in its international relations, have moved to center stage in recent years. In Turkey, where the Kurdish question is an issue of national significance, and in Iraq, where the gains made by the Kurdistan Regional Government have allowed it to impose its authority, moves are afoot to solve 'the Kurdish Question' once and for all. In Syria, where the Kurds have borne the brunt of the Islamic State's onslaught as they defended their three self-declared cantons of Afrin, Kobane, and Cezire, and in Iran, where they struggle to express their cultural distinctiveness and suffer disproportionately at the hands of the Islamic Republic's security and intelligence services, the picture is less positive. Yet the situations in both countries remain in flux, affected by developments in Iraq and Turkey in a manner that suggests we may have to revise the notion of the Kurds being forever divided by the boundaries of the Middle East and subsumed into the state projects of other nations. The contributors to The Kurdish Question Revisited offer insights into how this once seemingly intractable, immutable phenomenon is being transformed amid the new political realities of the Middle East.
Although there is often opposition to individual wars, most people continue to believe that the arms industry is necessary in some form: to safeguard our security, provide jobs and stimulate the economy. Not only conservatives, but many progressives and liberals, support it for these reasons. Indefensible puts forward a devastating challenge to this conventional wisdom, which has normalised the existence of the most savage weapons of mass destruction ever known. It is the essential handbook for those who want to debunk the arguments of the industry and its supporters: deploying case studies, statistics and irrefutable evidence to demonstrate they are fundamentally flawed, both factually and logically. Far from protecting us, the book shows how the arms trade undermines our security by fanning the flames of war, terrorism and global instability. In countering these myths, the book points to ways in which we can combat the arms trade’s malignant influence, reclaim our democracies and reshape our economies.
Women the world over are being prevented from engaging in politics. Women’s political leadership of any sort is a rarity and a career in politics rarer still. We have, however, begun to understand what it takes to create an enabling environment for women’s political participation. In this exciting and pioneering collection, writers from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are brought together for the first time to talk explicitly about women’s participation in the political scene across the global South. Answering such questions as how women can get political apprenticeship opportunities, how these opportunities translate into the pursuit of a political career, and how these pursuits then influence the kind of political platform women advocate once in power, Women in Politics is essential reading for anyone interested in what it means to engage politically.