Kurdish Rojava: participatory democracy amidst the Syrian civil war

Kurdish Rojava: participatory democracy amidst the Syrian civil war
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2016. no 2(51). P. 15-36


DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2016-2-15-36


Abstract

During the сivil war in Syria the Syrian Kurds have managed to effectively use the weakening of the central government in Damascus  to  build  a  new kind  of self- government known as Rojava. While the Rojavan Kurds in the north of Syria enthusiastically propagate an antinationalist left-wing message, they are themselves in the process of building a nation. Their guiding ideology of democratic confederalism incorporates elements of civic nationalism and revolutionary socialism in order to construct a new nation in war-torn Syria along egalitarian lines. Rojava’s political system is based upon participatory democracy and federalism – political principles that allow the area’s heterogeneous population to take part in self-government at levels from local to quasi-state. While recognition of the Rojavan cantons in the course of the UN-mediated peace process and political settlement on Syria remains an open issue, Rojava’s democratic confederalism can already serve as a model for inclusive participatory democracy. 


Keywords

Syria, civil war, Syrian Kurds, Rojava, democratic confederalism 


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For citation:

Moberg M. Kurdish Rojava: participatory democracy amidst the Syrian civil war. Pathways to Peace and Security, 2016, no 2(51), pp. 15-36. DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2016-2-15-36