National Self-Determination versus the Global ‘Counter-Terror’ Regime:
CAMPACC research and public outreach project
Workshop on Kurds 21 February 2015, SOAS, London
Beyond the nation-state: the Kurdish Workers Party PKK and the redefinition of self-determination
The objective of this contribution is to discuss and explain how the PKK developed a new understanding of the right to self-determination on basis of a critique of the state and nation-state form. I will define what we need to understand by the PKK, followed by a discussion of the self-evident way in which the nation-state is taken for granted as context or destiny of social action and practices. After that, I will discuss the concepts of democratic autonomy and democratic confederalism. I will discuss how these concepts emerged from a critique on the nation and the state and show how these concepts are embedded within or related to a long political tradition of thought and linked to a rich history of practices. Then, I will explain how, through thinking with the concepts of democratic confederalism and democratic autonomy, we might be able to address fundamental problems in representative democracy. In the final section, I will discuss how the PKK’s understanding of the right to self-determination changed from a state-centered approach to a people and connectivity-centered approach.
Joost Jongerden is a rural sociologist by training and obtained his PhD in social sciences in 2006. He is working as assistant professor at the Sociology and Anthropology of Development section of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and received a special appointment as associate professor at the Kyoto University in Japan. He has a strong interest in the sociology of space and place. Defined in terms of relations, connections, embodiments and practices, place and space are imbued with power, politics, and identity. His research focusses on the ways power is inscribed in places and how spatial politics amalgamate with identity-politics, but also how contestation and the development of alternatives is intimately related to developing different places. For a list of publication see wu.academia.edu/JoostJongerden