University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Sociology Seminar Series > Can the Revolution in Kurdish Syria Succeed? Reflections based on a field visit

Can the Revolution in Kurdish Syria Succeed? Reflections based on a field visit

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Part of Global Capitalism and Its Critics series, organised by Dr Jeff Miley and Dr David Lane (Cambridge Sociology) Since the descent into civil war in Syria, revolutionary forces have seized control of the Kurdish region of Rojava. This talk, based on a visit to the region in December 2014 as part of an academic delegation, aims to assess the strengths, challenges and vulnerabilities of the revolutionary project under way there. In terms of strengths, I will focus principally on four: (1) the ubiquity of revolutionary discipline, revolutionary commitment, collective mobilisation and the high levels of conscious politicization and willingness to sacrifice among the general population; (2) the clear evidence of genuine steps towards collective emancipation through education guided by a generally admirable ideological programme; (3) the even clearer evidence of important steps towards gender emancipation in particular; and (4) the valuable attempts to accommodate ethnic and religious diversity. In terms of challenges and vulnerabilities, I will focus on the question of multicultural accommodation, as well as on geopolitical factors, and especially on the crippling embargo enforced by the Turkish state, the adverse consequences of which were all too evident in relation to the precarious economic situation as well as the basic health needs of the population in Rojava.

This talk is part of the Department of Sociology Seminar Series series.

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